“I've got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I've got whozits and whatzits galore. You want thingamabobs? I've got twenty! But who cares? No big deal. I want more…” —The Little Mermaid
An illustration of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s two gyres—West and East—reminded me of Mr. Toad’s wild eyes.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is one of five offshore plastic accumulation zones (known as The FOPAZ) in the world’s oceans. The GPGP is located halfway between Hawaii and California. Despite the common public perception that the patch is an archipelago of massive garbage islands, its low density (4 particles per cubic meter) prevents detection by satellite imagery, or even by casual boaters or divers in the area. The patch consists primarily of fingernail-sized or smaller—often microscopic (microplastics)—particles that are suspended, but widely dispersed, in the upper water column. Researchers from The Ocean Cleanup project claim that the patch covers 620,000 square miles, making the GPGP the largest member of The FOPAZ and thus the reigning International World Champion of Garbage Patches. Wooo! Go GPGP! The Spaz of The FOPAZ!
Here is the original collage in its entirety—just garbage.
The Garbage Patch Kid
The Steward and Queen of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, who lives at its spiraling center, is a mysterious creature known simply as, The Garbage Patch Kid (GPK). She has haunted the region and lured sailors to their watery deaths for centuries all the while collecting our waste. Little is known about her and if anyone has ever seen her, they didn’t live to tell about it. But she is out there, doing her dance, and spinning her garbage patch.
A Southeast Asian legend about GPK tells the story of a woman betrayed by a disloyal lover. When the young woman learned that the man she loved and pledged her life to suddenly disappeared, rumors around the village began to circulate that he had taken another woman as his wife and moved far away. The young, abandoned woman was so distraught that she became suicidal. Lovesick and hopeless, she decided to abandon her life and stow away on a garbage scow that was to cross the ocean. She didn’t know why she boarded the scow, but she had been treated like garbage, she felt like garbage, and life seemed to be nothing but garbage, so immersing herself in actual garbage seemed a natural thing to do.
Either because she was so lovesick, or because she was living in feces-laden waste and covered in bacteria and viral pathogens, or a combination of both, the dejected woman became deathly ill aboard the scow. One night at sea while in the delirium of her fever she thought she heard her lover beckoning to her from the waves. The sound of his voice gave her the strength to rise out of the corner of maggots and muck she had hidden herself in and race to the rail of the ship. In her madness she thought she could see his hazy form flickering in the sea mist beckoning her to join him in the dark and violent sea. The young woman leapt into her lover’s embrace and was never seen alive again, but her vengeful spirit, soon to be known as the Garbage Patch Kid, would become legend in the region.
Another theory is that GPK is simply trash. Much like how stars, gas, dust, and dark matter come together in deep space to form galaxies, the great vortex of ocean trash has, over thousands of years, formed a small, watery universe and come to life, so to speak. The theory is that the garbage patch is actually a living organism. Much like how fungi on land have massive mycelium networks that can stretch for miles underground, it has been theorized that microbes have colonized the “plastisphere” and also formed some sort of gigantic, mycelium-like network in the water column. It’s alive!
Regardless of genesis, GPK rules over the GPGP, holding court at the center of her galaxy of garbage, dancing her whirling dervish, spinning right 'round, baby, like a refuse patch, right 'round, 'round, 'round. She has become the world’s most Horrible Highness Of Hoarding, The Duchess Of Debris, The Director Of Detritus, Ruler Of Rubbish, Her Majesty Of Muck, The Lord Justice Of Junk, The Custodian Of Crap, The High Priestess Of Poison, The Führer Of Flotsam, General Of Jetsam, The Pharaoh Of Filth, The First Lady Of Litter, Countess Caca, A Treasurer Of Trash, and The President Of Pollution. She feeds off of marine life by deploying her tendrils, made of thousands of miles of ghost nets, entangling sea turtles and ensnaring cetaceans. She is like a sea spider capturing everything in her web of waste and sucking the life out of the ocean, wielding waste as a weapon against the wicked world that wronged her…
“I want more…”
Well you are in luck, my Little Mermaid, because we have more for you: there is an entire zine dedicated to The Garbage Patch Kid, aptly titled, The Garbage Patch Kid. Well, I should say, we will have more for you SOON because due to “supply-chain issues,” constipated canals, and whatnot, the boards arrived early, but the zines are late. Since we don’t want the boards to sit around and get cold, they are on sale here this Saturday (or get one now at fine skateshops worldwide). The zine, on the other hand, will be sold separately when they arrive. In a week or two?
Think of us as your local weird, incompetent restaurant where you order something simple like steak and potatoes and the waiter says, “Okay, we serve you steak now, but potato, ehhh, I don’t know, next week maybe?”
So you can buy the board now. We’ll keep you posted on the potato.