Sunday, January 12, 2014

Self-Conscious Trash

I saw one TV program 15 years ago about a group of scientists who call themselves "garbologists." They go to landfills and open trash bags as a means of studying people's lives. Since that program all those years ago, it's been impossible for me to throw something away without thinking, "What does this say about me?" As if some group of scientists is waiting at the landfill to cut into my trash bags. I was pondering this while cleaning the other day and listening to a radio report on subtle psychological means that the government uses to try to get us to eat healthy: things like writing in grocery carts how many vegetables a normal person buys, or putting a box in the cart that indicates where vegetables are supposed to go and then making it really big. They've found these cues influence behavior and people tend to buy more veggies. Which made me think, am I the victim of do-go propaganda? Perhaps that TV show that made me self-conscious about my trash all those years ago was created to do just that. If so, well done.

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