Archive for December, 2008

Frozen in Plastic

© Jim Korpi

Museums are often filled with stiff oil paintings of wealthy white folks in their finest clothing or angelic statues of plump naked goddesses. After listening to Sharon Waxman talk about her new book “Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World” on an NPR piece, I started to contemplate the concept of art museums. Waxman’s book looks into the world of stolen art and where the art belongs. She brings up questions such as, “Should a stolen artifact from an Egyptian tomb, which now resides in the Louvre, be returned to Egypt?”
At the end of our walk through the Musee d’Orsay I came upon this sculpture covered in plastic. There were renovations going on, so I assume this plastic was helping to protect the work. I was blown away by how beautiful the plastic was over the piece. There was something about the way the covering added another layer to the stillness to the carved scene, as if it were a block of ice freezing the woman reaching for the standing man.

Big Three

© Jim Korpi

“The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” 1841

Made in USA

Before you go buying anything for Christmas this year, ask yourself this one question, “What would Jesus buy?”
What Would Jesus Buy? is the title of a documentary film all about the consumer craziness that has become Christmas. The film crew follows a comical Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir across country as they preach to people about the “Shopocalypse: the end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt!”
My Dad goes metal detecting religiously. He has found more artifacts from New England fields than most area museums have on display. He found the above razor buried near a house in Concord, NH. After polishing it up a bit, I’ve put it to use. If you look underneath the blade you’ll see the words, “Made in USA.” It’s as sturdy as the hard copper that it’s molded from and consists of three simply-engineered pieces, aside from the blade. This razor could be passed down to my kids’ kid. The above Gillette “safety razor” is similar to the one patented in1904.
I bought a similar razor while I was in Jordan. It was “Made in China.” The razor lasted me a couple weeks but then the top piece of metal snapped.
My razor experience got me thinking about the economy and the talk about jobs going “overseas.” Aren’t we to blame. The US made perfectly good razors, razors that only required the changing of a single $.10 steel blade every couple weeks (at least for me). Now we’re left purchasing a pack of four disposable MACH3 Turbo blades for $10.
When is the last time you bought anything that was made in the United States? If we don’t buy things from our country how can we expect to have jobs? Sure, we have the service industry, but the unemployed aren’t going to Red Lobster anytime soon.