Sunday, May 20, 2007


A new series of posts in which I pick a book at random, open it up and present to you what I read.

But what is it about plastics in general? It is rumored that beautiful plastic objects can be made, but the plastics which ordinarily enter the kitchen are vile in color, obnoxious in shape, and repulsive in texture. I am contemplating, for example, a receptacle for washing dishes, about 18 inches square and 9 inches deep. It is rounded at all corners and slobberingly rolled outwards along the edges as if it were just about to turn itself inside out. The material is vaguely soft, so that when filled with water and lifted it sags to one side and spills. It feels like thick, cold, greasy leather, except the grease doesn't come off on your hands. You suspect, rather, that molecule-size particles are penetrating your skin through the pores. The color is a pale dusty green that tried to be fluorescent and failed. As an artist friend once said, "There are two kinds of green: green and damn green." This is not the pale green of sunlight through the spring leaves; it is mal-de-mer or corpse green, not unlike the color of people attempting to survive on a macrobiotic diet or to be vegetarians on the basis of standard British or American cuisine.

From "Does It Matter" by Alan Watts. "Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality."

I love that guy.

No comments: