A Culture of Magic Boxes

It’s ugly, it sits in your kitchen taking up about 3 feet cubed of space and it is fed by esophagus-like tubes that gurgle and regurgitate a savory soup of water, soap and filth for about an hour, before finally shuddering to a steamy halt.

But this box of tricks has an abundantly important task; a universally despised task: the task of cleaning up filthy dishes, bacon fat pans, and our multitude of soiled eating and cutting tools all contaminated with the stuff we shove down our endlessly demanding consumption holes.

Let us think for a second why this contraption is so in demand, why is it we have scores of factory workers, suppliers, businessmen, transporters and middlemen all toiling away madly to output enough metal boxes to fill that wanting space in our kitchens. And don’t we need the damn thing. Apparently, we so hate washing dishes that we will ceaselessly argue over who is going to be the unlucky one to do it, or we will bicker over the fact that it has not been done at all. Moreover, we should not discredit the suggestion that more than one marriage has fallen victim from one man’s tendency to shirk his chores.

Universally, in the West, we begrudgingly accomplish what is now – with the fantastic, the incredible, the extraordinary dishwasher – magically done away with as painlessly as flushing the loo. The dishwasher is in essence a kitchen toilet, through which we flush our crap. This act of clearing up, which fills us with revulsion, fear of contamination – symbolic expulsion of disease – now can be accomplished with peace of mind. Our scientists have worked hard to build us this box, into which we throw our greasy pans and our sauce-soiled plates and out of which will issue shiny, sparkling as good-as-new dining stuff.

But is the dishwasher everything it claims to be?

Consider the various requirements necessary to possess and run your very own magic dish box:

First, of course, we need money to purchase it, deliver it, and to pay for the running expense, then the labor and energy consumption expense used to fix it when it malfunctions.

One day the irritating piece of junk claps out completely! We now have to pay to get rid of it (we must consign it to the collective garbage heap – note: it has now become a public responsibility – that’s ok, the tax payer will foot the bill – and also, fuck the fish in the deep blue sea, fuck the monkeys in the trees…. fuck the earth, the universe… the everything.

Some additional, minor irritations:

Firstly, let’s ask ourselves, how many dishes are needed to fill up one load? I’ll tell you: either you have two few dishes or you have too many! A couple of dishes, inside the box or outside it, will doubtless be sitting around like orphans.

Secondly, in this world of convenience it is important not forget that having a dishwasher necessitates putting dishes in, yes it is true, Jesus does walk on water (perhaps I’m not too bright, but am the only one struggling to find a place that fits the frying pan), what a bother… Here, furthermore, we must spend a portion of our time first rinsing the dishes, because our dishwasher is so exceptionally ‘good’ at its’ job.

To summarize, let me briefly point out again in case it’s not clear; though putting dishes in is a necessary hassle, laced, it’s true, with confusion on where to put weird shaped things, essentially we still must rinse the dishes beforehand. Which, therefore means we are doing half the job by our own very hands despite the promise of the machine’s super intelligent. What the fuck!

It’s not over yet. After putting in the soap and the salt, and, hopefully, pushing the right buttons (read the manual stupid), we must at last take the dishes out and put them away.

Quite understandably water has collected in various hollows and puddles, never mind…do as I do and stick the dripping cups in the shelves regardless – a tiresome task. Ok, I am being unreasonable; we would have to take dishes out and put dishes away anyway, would we not? Yes of course we would, but why, I ask you, does the machine not do it for us? Are we living in the technological age or what?

So, most eloquently, I have shown why we should all have a magic box, how we are a culture of magic box lovers, that we love to throw things in a box and then tadaaa there we have it all new again. No-more do we live in a dirty, contaminated, disease ridden, sausage-grease world of dish washing, we are an advanced society and all thanks be to China or wherever who made these wonderful, indispensable, masterpieces of modern culture.