by Jeff Wilfahrt
Jun 22, 2015, 8:00 AM

America’s Midden Class – No Malapropism

——No, it’s not a typo, what was once known as the middle class should be more correctly termed its “midden” class.

Every big box store you enter, be it a Target, a Home Depot, Menards are full of shelves laden with wares, all for sale, and all being the future contents of a dump. Of course this is true for smaller merchant wares as well but the big box stores, with their speed racks of American valued goods, are exemplar. It may take a week, a year or decades, but ultimately it all goes to the midden.

Oh sure, there is a light hearted attempt at reuse, recycle and recover but mostly it is a procession of cars from the merchants to home, some indefinite period of use, and then the procession of garbage haulers to the dump which with age is really just a midden.

Even the chemicals we so need in life go there. All those fluorinated compounds to keep your carpet from soiling, well those nasty things are buried right out here in Rosemount. Dug ’em out of Oakdale and Cottage Grove, sucked from the Mississippi muck and buried anew at the SDK site.

You’ve heard of folks who love to dig old latrines, get those old medicine bottles and ointment jars. Oh what treasures, huh?

In the end the 1% we all like to accuse of hoarding the money probably don’t amount to much in terms of the midden volume. Even with all their private jets, multiple homes etc., pile it all up and they’re gonna’ be a small fraction just because the rest of 99%ers have the corner on volume.

If you’re of an old enough age you may recall farmsteads of your youth. Plumbing fixtures stained with manganese and hard iron water. Homes that were drafty in winter and bedrooms that at best got convective heat.

But the farms were sort of self sufficient enterprises. Mixtures of animals, plants, some wetland, pastures and maybe even a small grove of apple trees. The city relatives would come for the fruits and sometimes abet in the work.

Not a whole lot went to waste. But as the pressure grew to produce more per acre more and more things found their way to the head of the ravine. Some of it is still out there. The pesticide and fertilizer chemicals wash their ways to our rivers… let me rephrase that, our sewers since that is really is what our major waterways have become. There they mingle with our urban caffeine, antidepressants, lawn fertilizers and hygiene byproducts. What a stew, an olio of manmade unnatural synthetics. We should probably all actually marvel that jumping carp seem to thrive in our waste.

You won’t hear the Chamber of Commerce talk about the midden problem, they promote it, at least tacitly.

Maybe you caught a piece here on LeftMN two years back. Like the immigrant farmers, among whom were many a blacksmith, things were routinely repaired, recycled and repurposed in the real sense. Piles of baling twine, set aside in the barn would serve yet another use.

We’ve lost that to a large extent. Every week the garbage truck swings by, gets all that refuse from your home and off it goes. Didn’t have to consider a repurpose, didn’t have to carry it to the burn barrel or the head of the ravine. Just sort of magically goes away each week… to the midden not so far away.

You’ll never hear the GOP talk about government being a place to repurpose, recycle or reuse. They will prattle on and on about what it takes to keep the midden filling. The notion of government being akin to the blacksmithy of old, well that is counter to their desire.

Yes, we are America’s Midden Class, once known as a middle class, we’ve all been demoted by our own consumerism.

Next time you enter a big box store, stop, just look at all this stuff, ’cause it’s all heading to the midden in time.

It’s beyond pollution of the planet, it is our mindsets that got polluted, what’s happened to the earth is a by product.

* Hat tip to Slip Mahoney of the Bowery Boys and his malaprop language.

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