particularly newsworthy week, it’s nice to see that the Daily Mail have their
priorities sorted out. This week’s bin news and comment stems from the tabloid’s
calm and measured discussion of what it calls ‘THAT PHOTO’. “What photo?” I
hear you ask. ‘THAT PHOTO’ of course. There’s no need for a modicum of context;
it’s ‘THAT PHOTO,’ and if you don’t know what ‘THAT PHOTO’ is by now then you
may as well give up you out-of-the-loop cretin.
to admit that I am very much an out-of-the-loop cretin, as I was initially
ignorant of the photo-that-needs-no-introduction. I cast my mind to various
possibilities: could it possibly be that stark image of Obama’s ethnically
diverse staff, frowning stoically at Donald Trump as he visited the Whitehouse
as president elect? Or perhaps the picture of said president elect- the
apparent epoch of the anti-establishment- standing smugly in a golden elevator
with Kermit the Farage. Well, as it turns out, my thinking was too narrow.
Because THAT PHOTO, as I’m sure you’re very much aware, was obviously the photo
of a drunk 23-year-old woman at a horse race in Melbourne pretending to ride a
wheelie bin like a horse.
viewing the photo, it all became so clear. Clearly this was THE photo; an
image, or should I say icon, that will outlive us all. A picture may speak a
thousand words, but Paul Dacre thinks that an image should speak two thousand
words, so the image is accompanied by a thousand more words; words such as ‘tiny
blue dress,’ and ‘antics’ and ‘shame.’ Quite what a 23-year-old Australian
woman is doing being drunk at an event that gives out free champagne is so
mystifying that the Mail felt the need to publish photos from every single
conceivable angle just so its grateful readers really know what they’re dealing
they’re dealing with is a woman, a DRUNK woman, in a TINY blue dress, riding a
WHEELIE BIN, like a HORSE!!!!!.
News and comment 04/10/2016-Chariots of ire.
With great effort, Margaret prises her eyes open. An eerie light is piercing her blinds, and her bedside table is shaking violently. She manages to squint and just about register her jittering alarm clock before it dances off the side and crashes to the floor: 3:30 am. Mustering the courage to squint through her blinds, she sees, and suddenly, enveloped with dread, she understands. A horde of dark shadows, moving ever closer. The light begins to flash now, faster and faster, resembling a warning light, or a strobe. Rise of the Valkyries inexplicably starts playing from her tinny radio, and then, over the swelling crescendo, she hears those hallowed words: ‘DOOWN IT FRESHHEEER!’
Yep, get to the bomb shelters unsuspecting residents, it’s that time of year again! The time of year where young people all over the country get to embrace new levels of academic rigour, finally discovering like-minded minds to discuss hermetic intricacies with over a game of chess and a nice cup of tea. Or, perhaps more typically, finally discovering like-minded minds to bellow 90’s pop songs down suburban streets at half three in the morning over dangerously cheap Sambuca shots.
The freshers have arrived, and, as always, they have graciously invited street furniture along for the ride. Though it’s not just the traffic cones; it seems that this year wheelie bins are getting in on the action. The Lincolnshire echo reports that barely a week after thousands of students arrived in Lincoln for the start of the academic year, locals have been ‘plagued by students chariot racing with empty wheelie bins.’ One of the students in question recently proclaimed that this is merely a noble if slightly abstract effort to drag the Oxford boat race into the 21st century, but to be fair he was a pretty pissed at the time.
Some residents of Lincoln have started the ‘Shush’ campaign, hoping to reintroduce ‘silent nights’ to the area, but these efforts have been branded a waste of time. Many residents now enjoy putting the early hours in which they are awake to good use, by reflecting contentedly on the spiralling debt and dire housing prospects these young folk will one-day have to face, before laughing diabolically and sticking the kettle on.
comes to geopolitical conceits and topical sociological issues you’d think that
bin news wouldn’t be a particularly rich vein to plumb. Well, my presumptuous
reader- (or am I being presumptuous in assuming that anyone is actually reading
this?)- you would be wrong. A few months ago we discussed the septic
sensationalism of the Brexit and Bremain campaigns, albeit through the lens of
a t’riffic little tale about a traffic warden and a wheelie bin. And now-
post-brexit- in this period of eerie uncertainty, that beleaguered calm after
the storm, we turn to bin news once more, for an altogether splendid
illustration of the whole damn debacle.
The mirror reports
that 22-year-old Matthew White (later described by a judge as ‘well in drink’),
used wheelie bins to create his own ‘EU border crossing’ on a UK street-
demanding British passports to get through- before eventually head-butting a
driver who tried to get past. Firstly, I’ve gotta say that I now feel obliged
to introduce the phrase ‘well in drink,’ into my everyday lexicon. It makes
drunkenness sound like some sort of place that you accidentally stumble to
through no fault of your own. ‘Oh, don’t mind Steve, he’s well in drink. Even
with fair weather he probably won’t find his way out till Tuesday.’
crudely constructed his barrier out of ‘wheelie bins, bits of fencing, a push
chair, and children’s play equipment.’ Given how last few months has seen many
people condense complex ideas into childish mental images of rudimentary
blockades- as well as very much throwing their toys out of the proverbial pram-
it’s almost as Matthew has intentionally fashioned a spectacular conceptual art
piece: ‘I AM BREXIT MANIFEST- WITNESS ME!’
We are all
now, of course, living Matthew’s hangover. The cold light of day is giving us a
gnawing headache, and as texts messages start to flood in, we have to ask the
question ‘what exactly did we do last night?’
as a nation it seems we agree that the only sensible next step is to employ the
standardised, tried and tested hangover tactic: ignore it all and hope it goes
Last week Youtuber and inventor
Colin Furze made national news after he unleashed his remote control wheelie
bin onto the unsuspecting town of Stamford, Lincolnshire. After fitting a green 240 with an engine,
Colin crudely attached two eyes and a
mouth; granting his creation an uncanny resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger in
the Terminator movies. The bin had a merry old day buzzing around town, evading
waste collectors and scaring old ladies, before presumably bellowing ‘GET TO
THE TIPPER!’ and roaring off into the sunset in a hail of milk cartons and
Another maverick, another online
hit: wheelie bin artist ‘Binsy,’-real name Brett Day- has gone viral after
demonstrating his collection of spray paint art on wheelie bins. Brett has now
quit his old job for good, hoping to make a full time living out of his rather
impressive bin art, probably hoping that one-day people proclaim him as a
Leonardo da Binci, or at the very least stop calling him ‘Binsy.’
A modern art sculpture commenting
upon the throwaway nature of our vote in an increasingly homogenised parliamentary
system? Not quite; the new ‘Ballot Bin ashtray’ just aims to keep our streets
voting system encourages use of the ashtray, allowing the user to choose one of
two slots in which to dispose their cigarette butt, the results of which are
shown in two transparent windows. The questions can be changed to reflect
topical events and issues relevant to the area in which the ashtray is placed.
concept went viral after an image of its trial run on Villiers street -Who’s
the best footballer in the world? (Messi or Ronaldo) - was shared on reddit. The
trial was a resounding success, though presumably the avalanche of butts on the
floor at the entrance of Embankment station suggest that the majority of
Londoners actually think that Neymar is the best footballer in the world.
though, this is a smart initiative from Hubbub, a new charity that utilises ‘hub’
of activity to spark peoples interest in sustainability issues. Other ‘hubs’
include talking rubbish bins, chewing gum artwork and chalking around littered
Adolescence: a volatile time. A
time in which the blissful ignorance of childhood suddenly becomes a bizarre cacophony
of confusion and rage, which can often manifest itself in nihilistic acts of violence
and vandalism that serve to protest against nothing else other than the bloody injustice
of it all. We empathise, we really do. We
just wish that these demonstrations of frustration weren’t targeted at the
poor, innocent wheelie bin. As a cursory scroll through this news archive
shows, these underappreciated stalwarts of our society have a hard old time, often
victimised due to the fact they just happen to be there.
week comes the news that the dastardly youths of Orchard park are stealing residents’
wheelie bins and setting them alight for no particular reason. We think it’s a shame
that these youths don’t focus these passionate, pyromanic energies towards more
productive pursuits, such as playing cricket or writing sonnets. Perhaps an
intensive rehabilitative course is in order, replete with our very version of ‘It’s
a wonderful life,’ in which our hero sets a wheelie bin alight and spends the
rest of the film waist deep in rubbish while his guardian angel begs the lord
to grant him his wings, if only so he doesn’t have to walk through everyone else’s
other side of the spectrum, it’s good to see a wheelie bin afforded the respect
it deserves, taking on the role of a ‘V.I.P passenger,’ on a train from
Basingstoke to Waterloo. One angry, paying passenger stated ‘“I thought why
would you put something like that on a rush hour train rather than in the day
when it is less busy.” Fortunately, with this being a British train, no one
kicked up a fuss, therefore avoiding sparking the Rosa Parks snapshot that could
have gone on to define the Wheelie bin liberation movement, which would cunningly
draw upon on the fears of bins that don’t want to be lynched in parks.
British stories this week. The Daily
Mail, who always helpfully seem to confirm my carefully nourished prejudices
about them, is again bashing the “elf and safety” culture because the wheelie
bin men are not allowed to cross a minor suburban road with wheelie bins. In this case I have to agree with them of
course, over feeding third class ambulance chasing lawyers is a luxury we can
no longer afford.
On the bright
side we have super hi-tech bins, ok not wheelie bins but litter bins, appearing
in London with built in plasma screens giving news and travel info and
presumable adverts. Also in the
entrepreneurial vain, we have an inventor who converted his wheelie bin into a
super-efficient composter. But best of
all are the 10 year old wheelie bin entrepreneurs from the Isle of Wight who
are going into competition with us producing wheelie bin numbers – all power to
In honour of
the Rugby world cup we have a bunch links to wheelie bin stories from down
under. The antipodean general craziness
certainly gets adequately reflected in their news worthy wheelie bin
We have a guy,
who might have had a couple of beers, throwing his wife’s $50,000 of jewellery
into their wheelie bin. She’d put them
in bags to hide them from thieves.
Hopefully more sober, but you can’t be too sure, someone put a wheelie
bin on top of a huge communication mask in a fit of bonza revelry no doubt.
spoken and the debt fuelled party that Gordon encouraged for us all is going to
be slowly tuned down over the coming years, poor Gordon he only wanted to be
loved. So what’s all this got to do with
wheelie bins you may well ask? Well it’s
about the direction of travel maybe, Gordon’s munificence has resulted in NHS
consultants getting paid twice as much for far less hours but it’s had little
impact on the sink estates, where as we see this week the local lads threw
bricks at the firemen trying to put out wheelie bin fires they had started.
change in direction will also tone down the petty rule based mentality that has
pervaded the provision of public services from parks to recycling. We hear this week from the august Express (so
it may or may not be true) that the bin men refused to empty a wheelie bin
because two tea bags and six baked beans went astray. The extraordinary outcome was the council
defended the wheelie bin men for making the right decision. Let’s see how Cameron’s big society impacts
these kafkaesqe denizens.
Summer has bought more existential angst into the world of
wheelie bins. The Economist, nicely
using BritishBins as its title, concatenated Cameron’s big society concept with the ongoing war over
wheelie bins between the “little Hitlers” in the councils and the “slightly”
right of centre Daily Mail cohort. The
Economist’s conclusion, as might be expected from this hallowed organ, was to
use the financial carrots of the capitalist genre rather than the Stalinist sticks
preferred by Mr Brown and his cronies.
So you get a Marks and Spencer’s voucher if you recycle nicely and put
everything in the right wheelie bin. However, as M&S don’t sell deep fried Mars Bars, this may not be the greatest
encouragement to the denizens of the sink estates.
Of course, being
British, what has caused a much greater furore, is the video of a respectable
middle aged lady dumping her neighbour’s kitty into a wheelie bin. This is a crime clearly more heinous than
that of lighting up a wheelie bin next to a house full of kids which, as we
know, is also a popular pastime in the places that Cameron’s big society is
going to find hardest to reach.
It wasn’t so
long ago that we commented on inebriated boy racers (apparently happily)
terminating themselves racing wheelie bins down the local village incline. Now it seems to be turning into an
international sport with wheelie bin races reported from Germany and Kent this
just this week. The Germans, being
Germans are taking it all very seriously, with illegal go-faster tweaks. I hope these guys wear crash helmets.
as ever prosaic objects, also feature in the world of crime again this week.
One brave lady fought off her knife wielding attacker with her wheelie
bin. Another felon’s luck ran out in a more
gruesome way. He hid in a wheelie bin in
a jail break and got squished in a compactor; a relatively common event, even
excusable for alcoholics, but not the smartest move if you’re sober.
I’m into modern
art, so I’m going to bang on about it a bit, after reading about Michael Landy’s Art Bin. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen
the picture of him posing in his Wheelie
Bin. You might have heard of Landy
before, he’s the guy who shredded his whole life a couple of years ago in a
shop window. I mean literally everything
he owned, photos, clothes, passport, tax records - in the shredder. His point I think was quite clear, even if
some of the people that gave him stuff weren’t too impressed.
Now his latest
idea with his wheelie bin is to sow some seeds of confusion in the self aggrandising
contemporary art world by getting big name artists like Emin and Hurst to throw
big money pieces into his wheelie bin to be destroyed. I like it the concept. It passes my personal “is it art” test,
although I imagine the Daily Mail might be bemused.
the “is it art” are the lads from Hemel who borrowed everyone’s wheelie bins
and placed them very artistically in the middle of a local roundabout.
As to other
wheelie bin world view stories, the election campaign is getting going, more of
that at a later date. Much more
interesting is the man who got so disgruntled with way the Brisbane suburban Bowen
Hills brothel treated him that he threw a wheelie bin through the window of the
brothel – love those Aussies.
And now we see the Home Office spending untold resources trying to cover their own incompetence and threatening the elected member of parliament, Damian Green, with life imprisonment. It makes you wonder who's serving who.
The reason we're pondering this question is that our friends from Lancashire Council are spending £60,000 per year on wheelie bin police. So tell me again, who is that bureaucracies are supposed to serve?
What to say about those
Dragons? As successful self made entrepreneurs, you have
to admire the skilful way they've ridden their luck to
get where they are. I'm not quite so enamoured by their
participation in the current egomaniacal celebrity
culture, but each to their own.
So, what has this all got
to do with wheelie bins? Well, Peter Jones showed
his risk taking daring-do when he invested fifty grand
in a pensioner's patented wheelie bin 'Lid Lifter'.
Let's hope, for Mr Jones' sake that Joe Public has got
his gullibility. Don't get me wrong, I love potty
inventions, but the first USP of this one is it opens
the wheelie bin lid for you when you have a garbage bag
in each hand. Does anyone ever take two garbage bags to
the wheelie bin?
The second USP
I guess is that it saves you time. Like how many
thousand times would you have to open a wheelie bin to
equal the time it takes to unstring and restring this
gadget each time to bin men come? Good luck Mr. Jones.
saying that when politicians start to see the light at the end of the tunnel
they order more tunnel. The financial
drama in Europe and the USA this week seems to confirm the point. Back in the
lowly world wheelie bins we have Bedford council picking thousand pound fight
with anyone who leaves their wheelie bin on the street. Then we have residents in Manchester, whose
wheelie bins have been removed by that august council in favour of communal
bins, who are demanding their return.
much as the bureaucrats and politicians play their seemingly unavoidable
societal games, we have great examples of fanatical entrepreneurs using wheelie
bins to make their fortune. The fact
that they are both eccentrics, in the great British tradition, is irrelevant.
By the way it’s not just egomania that generates these little wheelie bin missives, although it helps. It appears that having changing written content on our front page assists our search engine position, keeping our volumes up and thus our wheelie bin prices down.
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