Why we Iron in Public.
By James Hook
Why do we iron, for free, in public?
A simple question, as befits a simple task — ironing, which is variously defined as a domestic chore, or a low-level commercial service.
We believe both these definitions are archaic and limiting.
Rather, we believe Ironing should be re-classified as a “public benefit.”
The true meaning of ironing is revealed only when it is re-defined thus, freeing it from a prison of convention wrongly inherited. Just as a Barn Raising elevates and socializes the toil of building a building, so it shoulld be with ironing. In re-defining it, we welcome a new model of social engagement, given freely by collective effort, providing a clear-eyed and appreciable service, beautifying and sensually easing the walks of life we all inhabit together, and thus creating a tangible, elevating, socializing value that has gone heretofore underappreciated.
This is because ironing other people’s clothes for free compounds multiple meanings of service; of humility; of intimacy with another person’s wardrobe, that together connect to the deepest strains of the human experience. From our first clean diaper to final death shroud, we spend life swathed in the rude topography of prepared cloth. Smoothing this cloth is smoothing the fabric of life itself.
For life is rough and tortured. Life is a rumpled suit.
But shall we smooth that suit together; shall we press that cloth freely, shall we serve our fellow beings the small pleasure of a moment’s grace, and so we shall heal the world just a bit..
It is for this reason that we iron, in public, for free, forever: To solve life’s pressing problems.