Monday, April 13, 2015

Can you think of any garbage in pop culture?

You know, I mean actual garbage, trash, waste, not pop culture that is garbage.

This is the first example I could think of: the Death Star Garbage Compactor, in the first Star Wars * (1977).

"What an incredible smell you've discovered."
--Han Solo, having just fallen into the soon-to-start-compacting compactor

The Star Wars wiki informs us that it is Garbage Compactor 3263827 (that's it's hatch number)
. . . and it also notes that in the "New Hope novel and Star Wars 4: In Battle with Darth Vader, this Garbage Compactor is incorrectly numbered as 366117891").

I love fans.

* So, OK, properly it's the fourth episode, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
But I saw it when it came out and there weren't no others, so it's the first. I never watched the movie for again for about thirty years, but I remembered this scene vividly.


The Crow said...

Ralph Cramden of the Honeymooners? Or was that the sewers he worked in? Does Sanford and Son count? Wall-e of course, but you got him already. The garbage men on Sesame Street? Or Oscar, who lived in a garbage can?

Zhoen said...

Quark, and I was thinking about this last night.

Lady Chardonnay said...

Yep, I also thought of Oscar the Grouch, who sings "I Love Trash." And weren't there some cartoon characters called the Garbage Pail Kids?

In a movie whose name I'm blanking on, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt clean up crime scenes, so they have lots of things like bloody mattresses to dispose of. Sunshine Cleaning, I think it's called.

Are we just idly musing, or is this helpful for your book?

Fresca said...

CROW: Yeah, that was sewers, and it was Cramden's friend Ed Norton (Art Carney)_--I quoted him in the Toilets book! Cramden was a bus driver, right?

Golly, I totally forgot about Sanford and Son, which I used to watch!
Looking it up, I see it was based on a British show from the 60s, Steptoe and Son---looking up that show got me rummaging for more about the history of salvage and rag-and-bone men.

ZHOEN: I don't even remember Quark! Drove an space garbage truck, huh...

THAT got me looking at Space Trash---a big issue:
NASA has to time launches around the possibility of running into loose screws up there, and ISS has to steer around them!

LADY C: Oscar's song--I didn't know it! Thanks.

I actually remember Garbage Pail kids--looking at them again just today, god! they're still shockingly gross!

What I didn't know at the time was that Art Spiegelman was their creator---he of Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus fame.

Sunshine Cleaning--yeah, I saw that and liked it a lot.
I actually studied to be a funeral director for one semester (!), so it was familiar ground. I decided not to pursue that job because it's a whole lot of bureaucracy---handling insurance details and the like
(families + finances = bad equation).

It's fun to idly muse, yes, but actually it truly helps me---when I'm working on a project, I ask everyone, because people come up with amazing stuff I might miss.

It gives me leads, but it also helps me to gauge people's associations with the topic...
It's helpful to get a feel for what people already know, or don't know (teens won't have memories of, say, Sanford and Son.)

Zhoen said...

Dirty Jobs did several episodes on garbage and recycling places.

The Crow said...

Would ancient middens count for garbage?

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: I've got that on hold at the library, thanks!

CROW: Definitely! But I have to limit history---the publisher wants me to focus mostly on contemporary environmental stuff.