So every morning I awake to sounds of three rambunctious children fighting. I imagine this is what is like to be a parent, however I am not. In this instance my neighbors have 3 kids, and lucky for me my bedroom wall happens to meet their. Rest assured anytime I have a "company", my neighbors' kids go bezerkers seemingly like they're trapped in the closet or wall unbeknownst to my guest. It's like Children Under the Stairs meets Sex in the City. Not a good look.
Now I want kids, if that is in the stars for me. But right now I'm enjoying my "me" time which includes watching my neighbors slowly convert from the once party animal CBGB gutter punks into to kale-growing granola-eating commune hippies. Obviously, like all parents, this is all for the love of their beautiful children. We all have to make sacrifices, although in this instance I'm not sure I'd have ditched Wall Street to become massage therapists and dulla. Obviously I am no authority on anything related to pregnancy or parenting, but one thing is for certain there is plenty of money to be made here, as well as plenty of room to indulge. Sometimes when I'm feeling generous I babysit my neighbors' kids. This is always greeted with a deep looks of uncertainty, exhaustion, and relief. Somehow fatigue overrides fear in this circumstance. Which means I'd be the first one to judge you when I see your toddler with an iPad, but I'd also be the first one to give them an iPad at 2AM to silence their 48 hour bloody-murder yell-a-thon.
I'm going to be a great parent! Or at least I think... although whenever I see parents in any store it's like their kids turn into complete assholes wanting, touching, and yelling at everything.
Before they're even born parents are inundated with baby books, maternity clothing, birthing centers, birthing experts, personal trainers, and dietitians. You have in-home birthing stuff, which if you want you're living room decor to consist of a kiddie pool full of internal organs and shit, more power to ya. Now if you want to scare the shit out of a soon-to-be older sister or brother, there are birthing books and dolls demonstrating the natural process. But after birth, if you're truly vulgar you can grill up mom's left over placenta for a tasty treat. Or if you want to truly embarrass your kids later in life, have your placenta made into a teddy bear. Heck while you're at it don't forget to keep the umbilical cord and foreskin. Barf. There is no better way to bond with your baby than breastfeeding, which is why Mr. Milker makes it a viable option for both sexes. Now the only obstacle is to get society better acclimated to breastfeeding in public. So close your eyes pervs, keep them open conservatives, and close your bra mom breastfeeding anything with teeth. Besides breastfeeding, another important parental decision is whether you prefer paper or plastic, oops I mean cloth or plastic. Heck the latest movement involves no diaper at all.
With all the decisions to make, having a bald baby shouldn't be one of them. Baby Bangs are wigs for kids and insecure parents need to notify their kids gender. But with the influx of Toddlers and Tiaras there is now a market for baby high heels, bikinis, fake tans, fake teeth, false eyelashes and hair extensions. It's basically a smaller version of Hollywood. If this isn't the route you prefer there is something for every parent; expensive bathing buckets that emulate the womb, rolling toys that vacuum, bookbags that function as leashes, finger puppet birth announcements, a gerbil-cage like water dispenser, and the iconic Peekaru a Snuggie for mom and baby. Which brings us to the conclusion, they say a parent spends close to a million on one kid. If that is the case, don't forget the big picture, the closeness and love you wish to obtain, how you want to earn love, money doesn't buy happiness or manners, and the fact your kids will love you no matter what, even minus the iPad.
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.