- The Plate
Common as Dirt, Which Isn’t Actually all That Common
This year is the International Year of Soils. This may not sound as catchy as previous international years, variously devoted to such topics as Water Cooperation, Sustainable Energy, Forests, Biodiversity, and Rapprochement of Cultures–but the truth is that the United Nations could hardly have made a better pick. Given that we can’t survive without it, it’s amazing how few of us truly appreciate dirt.
Look at the way we talk about it: Dirty thoughts are reprehensible. Dirty linen is embarrassing. Dirty tricks are mean. If something is deemed low and worthless, it’s said to be common as dirt; and to treat someone like dirt means indulging in some truly despicable behavior. Dirt, in other words, is a shockingly under-respected