I have a cleaning dilemma which is ideological, not that much that I didn’t know what to do. Is it also a gender issue, environmental? Do I dare to ask? Can you imagine living without a vacuum cleaner? It is a similar kind of question as could you live without a car or two. It very often is for many unimaginable. Why is it so unimaginable? Life would get difficult and uneasy if we didn’t keep it together with helping equipment. Our everyday problems are solved and we don’t have to think much about it just. Sigh of relief. One could almost feel like a freak without the basic tools, left without lacking something important which is meant to be with us organically like a friend. Almost, hey. Of course this is a question of how much space one has to do clean and what kind of dirt we are talking about. When it comes to professional cleaning ladies, who clean for living, it is good for their health to have ergonomic light tools, essentially important. Cleaning ladies’ work is hazardous, unappreciated, loathed even. Something you do not easily see, stay interested in unless the job is not done. To pay attention to those people who take care of our spaces is therefore important. They are many and invisible as long as they stay quiet and do their jobs. Cleaning personnel get paid poorly, pay which does not enough include to the fact it is a dangerous job to maintain surfaces. Health risks are there how the work is done and what kind of poisonous cleaning detergents are used, not to mention people looking down on you as you haven’t moved up in the world. Detergents can smell good for a minute. Spraying detergents is the same as breathing them so you can imagine what the shit can do in the long run. As garbage men, cleaning ladies and janitors are doing socially extremely important work, think about it what they could do: stop the whole of society. Can you smell the new smell?
Interesting point here is how we assume, forget, do not think, see the obvious or ignore completely because we don’t have to pay attention. All we have to do is to know the necessity of technology and total superiority of things we own, their unquestionable value to us, that we know they are right for the job they are designed to and we can have them. Tasks and needs which cannot be done otherwise, who would want to anymore. We would soon be asthmatic and living in filth like our ancestors going nowhere. It is the power of advertising, powerful collective suction and consuming mindset to owning, to expertise, re-organizing, planning and performing proper civilized human beings who maintain themselves. Especially herself who has to know how to maintain this perfect image, how to be in it. It is so precise of an image holding on to us tightly. Letting go is overwhelmingly problematic. We have our reasoning which is part of the problem. Effectiveness is all. This reasoning is solving only the surface of things without wanting look inside.
If we lost machines like washing machines and vacuum cleaners it would mean cleaning work renaissance with laundry and household staff. Would it be class society all over again? Nevertheless there would be work if there were people who needed the service and paid for it. It is easy to see how important hygiene is for our everyday lives and how easily we ignore this fact.
What do you know about vacuum cleaners is another question and I bet nothing much. Where do they come from and where do they go? They, our tools, do the job just as well and much better than the old ones. New ones keep on appearing, designed, manufactured and they look amazing matching our interior of chrome and glass which need to be spotless. We are instructed how to plug-in, put on and how to operate. If you are not able to there is something wrong with you no doubt. To get rid of the things when they have lived their lives with us can be a bit tricky if you are willing to put effort and time in to that not so tiny ecological dilemma. We don’t have to know machines we use well, we don’t have to know where the materials come from, how the cost of machines get made and who profit the most. Vacuum cleaners are made super easy to use, everybody can use them, everybody can have them and will have a vacuum cleaner. What other this machine does than suck dirt and dust and what kind of life does a vacuum cleaner as an object represent is the easy comfortable living without dirt without effort. It provides and represents health. Even our apartments have closets for the thing with a long tube and heavy body. It is an essential tool cleaning your car, sofa, carpets quickly without too many extra movements and tricks.
Why I talk about vacuum cleaner is that I don’t own one and I happened to ask the cleaning lady who works our building could I borrow the one she uses. (I got a face) Nobody asks such questions because everybody has their own. So I think it is a very interesting cultural question of how we consume, how we maintain our standard of living and take care of our property, homes and which items belong to a modern household. I am in many ways a minority, by far.
Can you imagine people who live without vacuum cleaners, what they are like? At what point imagining life without those essential machines in our lives has become almost impossible?
To get stuck with ideas of how modern life is arranged and should be lived is where the closed society is born. Not that societies were not closed before, but there is a large problem waiting to be solved about how we evolve or do not and in some ways it is not new and some way it is terrible isolation which is almost impossible to change. What kind of society is closed and how do we open it or better yet encourage people to open up society as a culture and as a structure?
Yes it is a bit perverse question, psychological, and you can begin to imagine all kinds of alternatives, horrors, To think what do I mean with cleaning can too be very different than idea of cleaning to a super hygienist. Why do I even ask is because we assume too much. We have vacuum cleaners and they work perfectly fine, mostly. A machine almost all households have like a self-evident equipment so much so that to think cleaning without this noisy part of home would be unthinkably. To me it strongly seems people as modern population have come to a point where we do not see the opportunities there are. We like to be stuck and like our comfort.
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