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.”
For it is only thus that the true meaning of ironing is revealed. As a public benefit, Ironing —now freed from a prison of convention wrongly inherited — can live again as a new and beneficial service. Just as a Barn Raising elevates and socializes the toil of building a building, so it shall 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 to our fellow man; and beautifying and sensually easing the walks of life we all inhabit together. And so Public Ironing realized a tangible, elevating, socializing value that has gone heretofore underappreciated in our communities..
This is because ironing other people’s clothes for free compounds those multiple meanings of service — of humility; of civility; 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.
And lastly, we iron in public FOR FREE not because it is cheap, but because it is valuable.
For Life is a rumpled suit.
But shall we smooth that suit together; shall we press on freely, shall we be allowed to serve our fellow beings the simple pleasure of a moment’s grace, than so we shall heal the world just a little bit..
It is for this reason that we iron, in public, for free, forever.
Ironers of Brooklyn, Unite.