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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

March 30, 2011

garbage is the last american dream

There isn’t a single digital file of my grandfather. The war hero shot down 7 times in World War Two, it got to be so often they called him a war klutz. He’d fly his disabled bird back to France and land in a field, make love to a farmer’s daughter after a good french meal. Life was easy and there was very little record of it.

There is so much of me online, digitally archived. But in two hundred years will this stuff be accessible to the common person? Or will it require special equipment to connect to this internet? This blog may be a 8 mm reel of film to the flea market crowd of 2100 AD.

Has anyone noticed how many different junk/antique shows there are on tv? Storage auctions, estate sales, pickers, any show that shows people finding something and selling it for money is a green light. Pawn shop shows, like Hardcore Pawn, have me hooked.

It must be this recession. People want to feel reassured they can survive without a college degree. Let’s be honest, most people didn’t realize you could make a living bidding on abandoned lockers at Public Storage before they saw it happen on tv.

As “real jobs” like lawyers and managers that used to be promised out of college disappear and triple digit student loans are on hold while the unemployment checks come in, people are seeing new possibilities. If there is treasure in the trash we’ve created then this generation can get rich too.

Who hasn’t wanted to go to an auction and try and make a killing? Well, I’m tired of it all. I got cable two months ago and realized all my ideas are in production. So here’s my latest: I’m going to get Doug to shoot me going through garbage cans around the city and we’re gonna find out how much money we can make out of garbage. It’s the final conclusion of this current reality trend.

We shoot saturday, so if you have any helpful ideas, get ’em here quick.

6 Comments

  1. Conventional approach: I recommend a competition between two (2) pickers of garbage to heighten the drama and expand the footage area. Explore different strategies. That is one constant in all the shows: competition. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. Maybe have three pickers. Or start a multi-city competition…and an online forum with advertising. “junkswapfleamarket.com.”
    Maybe follow a homeless shopping cart picker around to compare what you both get.
    And a short history of junk picking would be nice. Interview junk pickers (“why do you dumpster dive?”) and sociologists and urban planners. Police (“Is it legal?”)
    Basically, go beneath the surface of dumpster diving and freecycling. Be smarter than the A&E producers. They only scratch the surface and offer nothing more than capitaist porn. You can control the content and manufacture your own media. Manipulate me cleverly.

    Unconventional approach: do it all naked.

    Comment by oggy — March 31, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  2. I would keep the clothes on, and pick one dumpster, don’t film it, write a description or illustrate a couple of caricatures of your opponent, Have a stop watch and go at it, kind of like a metal piñata, punch and scratch your way to the bottom with a mouth full of milk. Get what you think is worth something, then get out and spit your milk out on eachother, then dripping with milk, go to a hawk shop and see who can get the most, details get lost in video, words paint a better pic.

    Comment by ken — March 31, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  3. I think you guys are overthinking this. Get 10 people together and 5 camera men. 5 teams of 2, make a list of ridiculous items, scavenger hunt all over the city. Dumpster diving is OK but outright thievery will bring the audience.

    If you really want to do a dumpster thing, I suggest finding an empty one, put 4 or 5 guys in and a bunch of booze and beer. Nobody leaves until all the alcohol is gone. Adult diapers optional but recommended.

    Comment by Lyle_S — March 31, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  4. The key to dumpster diving is knowing what dumpsters are gold on what days. The randomness is taken out of it. It is not like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It takes time and resources, plus you have to get there before the other guy.

    The process is boring,you have to show the times when the security guy shows up with his big stick and chases you off the property holding onto the broken lamp. Or beating the crap outta some guy cause he is encroaching on your turf. That is what gets you viewers.

    Comment by al — March 31, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  5. I’m seeing the jeopardy version. What’ll it be?

    Peepshow dumpster?
    Recovery center dumpster?
    Pet store dumpster?

    Comment by Donno — April 1, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  6. By the way, there’s dead snakes in a petstore dumpster.

    Comment by Donno — April 1, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

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