While at home last year, my mother bestowed on me the time honored tradition of clearing the trash receptacles. As I lumbered down the basement steps with three black bags, my brother rushed to the edge of the bannister. From the third floor he yelled, “Grant! You forgot one.” A muttered, “Thank you,” barely escaped my lips and I grabbed the blue trash can awaiting me in the foyer.
After a swift game of Tetras: Waste Management Edition, I set off in the Red Baron for the Williamson County “Convenience Center.” I deposited the paper, glass, plastics, tins, and cardboard in their proper corners and went last to the miscellaneous trash section. Emptying the big 44 gallon container, I exchanged the empty 44 gallon container for the small blue trash can from my room and began to pour. As the rubbish began to fall, my eyes caught hold of a falling electrical cord, Odd I thought, isn’t that my travel clock, pencils, wait a second… My STUFF?! Apparently my dad elected to use a trash can as a storage receptacle in one of his cleaning binges and neglected to mention anything about it.
Some items’ teloi should not change. In a pinch a used soup can could turn into trash can, but a used garbage can should not turn into a soup can. A chef would need a very large dishwasher or a very large pot of boiling water. Once the cleansing concluded he’d drop to his knees and pray for a blind and gullible health inspector. The garbage can exists to escort undesirable paraphernalia out of kitchens, garages, schools, and park lawns. Only war, disaster, famine, poverty, or derangement could compel the curious to explore the recesses of a dumpster for soup. Telos seems scandalous in our time because it replaces a could with a should. Telos necessitates action. The contemporary philosophers have responded with a, “Meh. Exploring the “should’s” is stupid.” So power without limit is the line, curiosity without caution the mantra. It’s not the body, but the Zeitgeist that matters. And if one old man with a beard suggest a waste dispenser be used only as a waste dispenser, his mind must be as backwoods as his job.