Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
So I am hanging out for a spell with Annie, Lee, and the Notorious R.O.Y (baby Ellis) in the frosty midwest. You know that Chicago got hammered with snow this winter, like the rest of the free world . . . and you city-dwellers know what happens when the big snow melts. A minefield of soggy fliers, garbage, and dog excrement is left behind. Oh, and plastic bags. Lots of bags. In the gutters, under your car, caught up in bare tree branches, hissing in the wind. Annie abhors those Bags In Trees, and would curse them through the window, slowly shaking her fist. She called her alderman to have them removed. I find this to be hilarious. Mostly because she is under 65. But, it actually worked. No more bags. But why am getting into all of this random B.I.T talk?
Yesterday I came across this beautiful video of a dust devil peeling off rows of plastic from a field of strawberries.
It made me think of a pair of waltzing albino octopi, or a slow train of birds. The footage catches a short flash of time, of grace, between function and trash, when something as simple as a sheet of plastic has a chance to be something beautiful. I’ve seen dust devils whip up leaves and dirt and tumbleweeds, and I’ve seen ravens gyre up and up on such thermals. . . but this is different.
Its like fingerprinting the wind.
And it is pretty mesmerizing. Check it out below.
I recommend listening to it without sound. Or picking your own soundtrack.
(And yes, of course I have seen that iconic bag-in-the-wind scene in American Beauty, which is also great.)
And yes, I also loved Ramin Bahrani’s esoteric Werner Herzog-narrated short film about a plastic bag’s search for meaning in the face of its own immortality. Brilliant. Years ago some friends and I dreamed of making a mockumentary about feral urban bags in California. And so my extreme enjoyment in watching the film was only slightly dampened by the fact that he did it before we could. And better. And secured that crazy German.
Did you know that various sources estimate that the world uses over 500 billion plastic bags each year? Some think that the amount is closer to 1 trillion, a number so ridiculous it becomes abstract. And that doesn’t even address all the stuff we are putting into those bags.
But I digress, yet again.
So, how about that original clip. . .
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