He's watching you. Who? God of course, but also that bobblehead in the corner. As you already know, the bobbled head is plastic doll who's head, suspended on a spring, moves with vibrations. So whether displayed on the dashboard of your car or on a shelf in your living room, any when things get-a-rockin so does the bobblin. Sure it's about as interesting as watching grass grow, but these thing are popular, selling like hot-cakes.
The first bobblehead prototypes hit the market during the 1950-60's thereby emulating Major League Baseball team, mascots, and players. The rest is history... there's now a bobblehead for every celebrity and popular culture icon imaginable. So if you're looking for a great way to waste a ton of space and a ton of money, look no further. Sure it may start off as a innocent trip to the ballpark and then all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded in bobblehead stares and your apartment looks like Forbidden Planet. The easiest way to start collecting is to begin with sports, followed by presidents, bands, animals, hula dolls, then cartoon and television characters. The average bobblehead costs about $40 bucks, but then there's also one with a $37,000 price tag, a single production diamond-encrusted Elvis.
Bobblehead collecting is the gateway drug to the comic book collecting world, Comic-Con. Where soon enough you'll find yourself wearing spandex shorts and spray-painted neon green to represent the skinniest nerdiest Incredible Hulk imaginable. Sure you'll wake up the next morning to find your sheets covered in what seems to be Double Dare slime or a massacre of Slimer, but low and behold you finally lost your virginity. You met the only girl not paid to attend Comic-Con and you've finally found someone who completes you. Who care's if you'll spend rest of your life in a storage unit digging through comics and playing with your bobbleheads. Soon you'll be walking down the isle of your Star Wars themed wedding, cutting your wedding cake topped with none other than a custom made bobble heads resembling the happy couple.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.