Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Garbage equals food - Idler equals volunteer...

Okay, so this is all about Food not Bombs and The Municipalities’ efforts to either bring them into “compliance” or failing that, shut them down.

I use this as the starting point and “frame of reference” to explain, express, and articulate my thing which I originally called Bums with Brooms but which I now call Brooms not Bombs in recognition of , and in expression of philosophical solidarity with Food Not Bombs, as there exists a core similarity between the two. To wit, both take something which was previously being thrown away, discarded as garbage, and redefine it as the thing of great value that it originally was.

In the case of Food Not Bombs that would be food of course, which was then defined as garbage and then redefined back to being food again, and in the case of brooms not bombs, the thing in question was labor or potential labor, which then became idle, wasted hours and then became productive labor again.

Same paradigm, if you can paradigme.

Food not Bombs says, “It’s not that we don’t have enough food, it’s just that we feed way too much of it to cows (who would rather eat grass which they, cows, think of as food). We, some of us, then define the cows as food! And what we don’t feed to cows we’re as likely as not to throw in the dumpster.

In the Brooms not Bombs case, it’s what a capitalist might call “labor” that is being reclaimed or redefined from idle or wasted hours back into “productive labor” again.

That’s the basic paradigm laid out simply. The difference between the two is that Food not Bombs (in theory and in practice), seems to me to be significantly founded in love and compassion for others, as well as shock and disgust at the “sin” of wantonly wasting food.

“Are you waiting for someone? What are you doing here? This is private property and you are trespassing. Trespassing is a crime.”

Brooms not Bombs, on the other hand, is a response to one’s own personal pain. I found myself on the “trash heap of society” where my very life, my very being, had not only no value, but actually had a negative value.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I’m talking about, what Food Not Bombs has in fact been doing, giving food away, is the same as what I’ve been doing, giving my labor away rather than simply wasting it.

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