I have a core hatred of vandalism. In fairness, I hate it whether it is done to me or another. When some piece of slime smashes a window, regardless of who it belongs to, it enrages me.
But why so if I do not lose from it? Because it takes constructive effort to make and fit that window and a second of mindless stupidity to smash it. It is pointless destruction which serves no purpose. It does't improve anybody's lot, whereas the fitted window serves a useful purpose for somebody, even if it isn't me. Man was made to build and improve the environment and when we do it collectively, it benefits all of us. Destructing stuff is the domain of the mindless and is, in essence, a crime of waste. It wastes all the co-operation, design and work to make whatever it happens to be in the first place.
I live in a pretty uncivil area at times. I have awoken sometimes in the morning to wing mirrors gone off the car. Why? What possible advantage could the perpetrator have gained from doing that to my car? The expensive mirror lies smashed on the ground and electric cables hang twisted from the door. Where's the attraction? I simply don't get it. Some prick who doesn't know me has decided to inconvenience and cost me and for what? When I really dig down to explore the motivation I can find none. So if I were in charge, that one act of pure ignorance would suspend the guy's rights for a year. He would cease to have a right to the job he is in or whatever social supports he depends on. His right of property ownership would disappear in that instant. His right to freedom would also be curtailed as he worked, with no pay, to learn how difficult it is to make and fit a new wing mirror on a car. In short, he'd learn to shit himself before he ever did anything so pointless again.
We are a consumer society and we have been conditioned to generate far too much waste. Bearing in mind the vandals, it appears that the generation of waste extends to our production of offspring too in some cases. But aside from raising ignorant stupid worthless children, (there now, I've said it), we also generate tons of sometimes useful waste every year in our homes and dump it all for collection. The thinking seems to be that we can replace it with loads more waste next week. I unpack the groceries on Thursdays and it drives up my blood pressure to see the unnecessary packaging that goes into everything. Boxes and shaped plastics abound and I have to pay to have them taken away eventually. I want to pay for the food not the fucking stuff it came in. It's just more crime of needless waste.
And cars are another. Back in the nineties the motor manufacturers got their act together. They began to make cars that lasted. Fucking great, let's make them last! But no! The motor industry wants you to buy their latest overproduced model and the Government makes tax money out of that purchase. So while maintaining your old car in PMO is good sense and is a good conservation measure, the Government, at the behest of the motor industry, can make it uneconomical for you to do so. That too is criminal waste. When you think of all the 1950's motors the Cubans kept going all these years and what crap those cars really were when they were built back then, it makes you think. If you are happy with your old banger and it is roadworthy, then you should be encouraged to preserve it, not scrap it for more packaging.
Even with clothes, I am always conserving. On those rare occasions I actually buy an item of clothing, I have two criteria. I go for comfort and hard-wearing every time. I had a maxi overcoat one time, an ex-merchant navy item, and it lasted me over 14 years until some bitch threw it out. It was comfortable, warm, water-proof and it doubled as an extra blanket on cold nights and it cost me a tenner. To go with that fetching navy coat I blew another fiver on a pair of tan-coloured slip-on workbooks with non-slip soles and steel caps. Eleven years I wore those until finally the sole of one of them cracked. They were like slippers for me, they were that comfortable. I walked hundreds of miles in those boots and that coat and the rest of my uniform back then was a wrangler denim shirt and jeans. The coat and boots saw four generations of denims come and go mind you. There was no waste though because I got value from my purchase. Of course, I had what was called the "Good Suit," hanging in the wardrobe beside a pair of expensive leather slip-ons in case someone died or got married. I got ten years out of that those because I rarely wore them.
Perhaps it was because my parents were products of the forties and fifties, but the war cry around our dinner table was, "Eat everything you've been given on your plate." They may have known hunger themselves in their young lives but if they did, they never spoke about it. Anyway, as a result when I am ordering food in a hotel or restaurant, I specify exactly what I want to see on my plate, (with a view to consuming all of it). It makes me appear finicky but even with that, I so often get loads of other stuff I didn't ask for, all piled up mountain high. I never understand why they don't listen so I end up with half a plate of perfectly good but wasted food now gone cold. It is not as if I'm asking for a discount to have less of it. The price on the menu is acceptable otherwise I wouldn't be there. And when I look around me, it is the same at many other tables too and it is all so wasteful and unnecessary.
But even with my instinctive aversion to waste, I often seemed to end up with stuff I really didn't need. I pondered this, (waste of money), and came up with a new idea. The adman would have us buy what we want and by listening to him, I ended up with things I didn't need. So I made a pledge to myself to only buy the things I needed. It is staggering the change that has made in the last ten years. My stuff now, such as it is, is all pretty much important to me. I cannot think of anything right this minute that I'd happily toss in the bin. What I have I use and I get the worth of it as a result.
And time-wasting! …………… ah, if you haven't enjoyed this article then I'm sorry for wasting your time.