Wednesday, June 06, 2007

so much stuff

have you ever been overwhelmed at the sheer number of things in this world? i mean, haven't you ever sat in a city eating a hot dog and considered just how many hot dogs will be eaten in that same city on that day? or in the world on that day? or just how much mystery meat was used to make said hot dogs? or how many hot dogs will end up in the garbage? or how many trucks it took to ship those dogs? or how much fuel it cost to move those trucks? or how many lives it costs to buy the right to that fuel? (oops, that last one was more than i meant so say - sorry.)

but seriously, haven't you ever been overwhelmed at the sheer number of things in this big world? with all apologies to uncle walt, i know that its a small world, after all, but its full of millions of hot dogs. and shoes. and front doors. and discarded computers. and soda cans. don't believe me?

here is what self-proclaimed photographic artist chris jorday has to say:

Exploring around our country’s shipping ports and industrial yards, where the accumulated detritus of our consumption is exposed to view like eroded layers in the Grand Canyon, I find evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress. I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.

he is so fascinated by all this stuff, all this immensity, all this more-than-enough, that he takes pictures of it. check out his amazing website here.

this is one of his pictures. it depicts 75,000 shipping containers (the things that tractor-trailers are often pulling, or that you see on trains). that's the number of shipping containers that come into our ports in the US every freaking day. SO MUCH STUFF!
i don't know about you, but i can easily become overwhelmed and feel like i am drowning in a sea of cell phones, a flood of french fries, and a tsunami of cd's. when i think about all of this stuff on such a global scale, it really does make world hunger seem like a ridiculous problem, you know? somehow, someway, we ought to be able to get resources to people who need them, not just people who want more and more of them to satisfy the growing holes in their souls. i guess i am ranting now. sorry. just go look at his art for yourself. and be overwhelmed. i'm going to go get a hot dog...

1 comment:

cathyq said...

Wow, the pictures are amazing and yes overwhelming. It is a complex and "motley" world filled with lots of stuff. I think that is one of the reasons that I love the ocean so much. As far as I can see, there is nothing but water, just water. No other stuff. I cannot wait for Maine to stare at the beautiful and peaceful water and be uncluttered in my mind and body. Leave the hotdogs at home, but don't forget the coffee!