Culturally aware is what I’ve become! Whenever I’m in doubt about a new phenomenon I consult Dr Google for a cultural reference. And here’s an example of furoshiki, the Japanese Art of wrapping Recently I’ve observed the western phobia for certain parts of nature. For millennia some natural functions have been exercised in the open. Think of breathing, laughing, perhaps kicking a ball, shitting. We see the phobia illustrated when out walking, perhaps with the dog. Elegant little parcels, biodegradable, adorning the sidewalk edges or under the rows and hedges of the common pathway. Sometimes further afield in the shrubbery, but always in a direct arc capable of being reached by a single throw. It was not always so. The need to be seen to be doing the right thing is valuable part of these parcels. Picking up dog shit is not one of society’s most pleasant pursuits. A whole caste of folk on the subcontinent have as their lot in life to clean the cesspits of the rich. Its necessary but spurned occupation. However, in western culture we have raised the awareness of the act of picking up shit from the act itself to social value of being seen to be doing it. The bending down and care shown in scooping up, is one of modern life’s moment’s of recognition. It shows responsibility and care for the environment. Then the carefree swinging of the weighted bag after pickup whilst walking confers a sense of social responsibly for all to see. Who can’t admire someone who has clearly done the right thing and bent and scooped. There is a limit though. When no observer is present and when observation ceases the furoshiki bundle can be dropped and / or flung. Like the conundrum of proving your existence when you can’t be seen, we are caught in the dilemma of not being responsible unless we are seen. As soon as observation by others ceases, depositing fusoshiki can be enjoyed. Deposit sites found have been at the stout tree base, under a an overhanging blossoming shrub, centrally on a galvanised pumping station outlet or on top of the green bin receptacle lid into which refuse is to be placed. These are some of the displays I’ve seen. Clear statements that nude dog shit is no longer acceptable in polite society, and should be displayed once wrapped. To date the science is not yet in as to whether any dolphins have actually been strangled by the bag handles of furoshiki-dog flung into the ebbing estuary, or are forced to wear such an odious badge round their necks until death. Its then, I suspect that this modern tide will turn.
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