Unwanted Garbage by Yiji
Good evening, my beloved readers!
Busy with your season’s cleaning? Well, it’s the most appropriate time to get rid of this mysterious item. Personally I definitely should, since my (small) house is overstuffed, but I cannot find time to do it. Is it just a matter of time? I don’t know, probably it’s my anti-consumerist attitude that’s playing its part behind the curtain of my consciousness, or maybe I’m too attached to my old stuff and I cannot find it in my heart to dispose of it.
What am I talking about? Basically … garbage, rubbish, scrap, call ’em as you like! Yes, once again a negative word by A.Word.A.Day. If this were not enough, the word looks like having nothing to do with English, but rather with German. Oh, mein Gott …
noun: Rubbish; trash.
From Yiddish drek (filth, dirt, dung). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (excrement) that is also the source of scoria
. Earliest documented use: 1922.
“Using boot-sale dreck and found rubbish, Michael Landy has created kinetic, three-dimensional versions of saints portrayed in the National Gallery’s collection.”
Adrian Searle; The Best Art Exhibitions; The Guardian (London, UK); Mar 31, 2013.
ITALIAN TRANSLATION: porcheria, spazzatura
You may say there’s a mistake in the tagline, but it’s intentional: it’s a verse from the lyrics of a song by Suzanne Vega (I quote her again), Fat Man and the Dancing Girl, another track from 99.9F°. It’s a couple of days that this album is on my mind, this morning I woke up with this tune in my head and to my big surprise, I could even use it somehow!
Garbage, what a thorny issue, in general for any industrialized (and consumerist) country but particularly for my home country. For my home town. I don’t know if you have ever heard of the s.c. ‘Terra dei Fuochi
‘ (literally Land of Fires). It’s a sadly known corner of Italy – not that far from where I was born and even where I live now – where any sort of toxic waste (industrial, chemical, clinical, even radioactive) was dispersed or amassed in the course of the past thirty years, mostly coming from the rich North or even from the rest of Europe, obviously a criminal traffic managed by the local Camorra clans. The name comes from the common practice of setting these piles of waste on fire in order to destroy them with the tragic result of letting the pollution level of this area soar sky-high. Not to mention the tons of poisons dispersed on the soil or buried underground. Today this area around Naples and Caserta counts the highest rate of infant deaths for cancer over the whole Italian territory. Poison is in our fields, in our vegetables, fruit, milk, in the air, in our lungs, tissues, bones, it flows in our blood. In certain zones life expectation hardly reaches 60 years. For the lucky ones. ‘People will all be dead in a couple of decades’ as Carmine Schiavone, pentito of the Casalesi clan, reported to the parliamentary Committee of Inquiry in 1997. Sixteen years ago our parliament knew that Terra dei Fuochi was a graveyard
. But they remained silent. Not a single word on TV or newspapers, the (compromising) official reports kept concealed to the public. They knew and remained silent. No intention to stop the deadly trade. Because it was a heap of gold, garbage is pure gold
for both criminal enterprises and politicians. And now we die. Children die. Some of them betrayed by their own families (Terra dei Fuochi comprises even Casal di Principe, the headquarter of the notorious Casalesi clan), killed by their own fathers. Today the Land of Fires is sadly known to everybody – at least in Italy. Newspapers, TV, the Internet, the news circulates everywhere, makes noise. The lid has been eventually blown off. Too late to make any difference …
I’m closing this post with a song that’s absolutely related to the subject but it was on my mind while writing: it’s Children’s Crusade
by Sting. A verse forever engraved in my mind: All of those young lives betrayed –
by those who instead had to protect them, parents, families, society, government. Killing children is probably the most shameful crime ever, no matter who, how or why. Being a mother, I feel upset, disgusted, outraged. Everyday I pray God to keep my child safe and healthy. I’m aware I might die of cancer, after all, cancer runs in my family, but I could not stand the idea my child could die. It could kill me hundred times as much as any poison. This makes me wonder: how could all those ‘family men’ do this to their own blood? And if their children died, how could they live with such a weight on their conscience?
Your passionate (Italian) Translator