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Friday, December 19, 2014

Letter: One man's trash is another man's gold's baleful avatar

Editor,

I thought we were friends. Allies, at least. When I sent you a letter about the dangers of bronze wolf statues, you printed it. When I sent you a letter about the dangers of people wearing gang colors such as red and blue, you printed it. When I sent you a box of my hair and fingernail clippings and some poems I wrote, you didn’t immediately file a restraining order. Later you did, yes, but you waited a while, as if unsure of your own feelings, which I’m sure you were.

However — when I sent you a letter about the dangers of Zimmerman Library’s many books collapsing during an earthquake, you … oh look, you printed that one too. I just didn’t see it at first. Well, this is awkward.

Regardless, I’m sure it will surprise no one when I say that, at first, when I thought you hadn’t printed that letter, I was a little hurt. It reminded me of a time last week when I was gathering miscellaneous trash from around campus and using it to cobble together an enormous statue next to the Duck Pond, an enormous statue of a friendly friend, waving. Despite my having the best of intentions, and despite all the time and money I have put into this university, campus security, and then APD, when I ran off-campus, seemed not to care at all. “You can’t empty dumpsters next to the Duck Pond,” they said, ignorantly, oblivious to the very plain fact that I already had. “You can’t just build whatever you want out of filthy trash on UNM property,” they added, foolishly. “And other people’s bikes aren’t trash. … Get down out of that tree!”

Look, I think we all know that people aren’t born good at skipping. Sure, various individuals might display more of an aptitude for it than others, but mastering any craft takes work. It takes dedication. On that note, a question: Is UNM going to just wake up one morning and find an enormous statue of a friendly friend waving fully built and ready to greet the people of the world? No, obviously. We have to build it. No ancient god whose name cannot be spoken in human tongues is going to bother coming to our world, possessing an enormous statue and then leading us to victory against the forces of dark wolf/gang magic unless, of course, we first provide an enormous statue for it to possess! To me, these things seem so obvious that I honestly feel a little exasperated having to explain them.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me for my impatience. Some day, though, I can’t but feel it will all have been worth it. Beneath the loving, watchful eyes of an enormous sentient, all-knowing, loving, wrath-filled statue god — a building-sized waving friend made of garbage and bicycles and people’s backpacks and whatever we will gather — we will gather, and we will skip and we will prance. We will build a maypole in its shadow and, sixteen times a year, we will twirl and cavort and battle-dance. In our robes of gossamer and old tarps, we will bring glory to our one and only ruler, our evil otherworldly emperor who has been born anew to destroy us all, Albuquerque and the rest of the world, in a rain of fire, waving happily all the while. The end is nigh. The end is nigh. Join me.

Mike Smith

UNM student