With the end of summer upon us, don't forget your bug spray this Labor Day. Sure this may not be in your forethought now, but come Tuesday morning when you walk into the office covered in a legion of lesions, you'll think differently. Nothing identifies a long debaucherous weekend more than a boatload of bug bites and bruises, coupled with a 3rd degree sunburn. So stop by the drugstore on your way out of town and stock up.
While you are there, you may notice the myriad of marvels on the market. Such as the OFF! Clip-On Mosquito Repellent, where the only thing you have to do is sacrifice your fashion sense by clipping a miniature bug-repelling fan to you hip. Sure it seems rather bulky and absurd, at first, but after a few beers you'll mistake it for pager without the perks of being a drug dealer calling yourself a doctor.
Next you have insect repelling clothing, which unlike mosquito netting are less whimsical and romantic. You would think that after contracting Malaria or Yellow fever you would be more open to dressing modestly, but when it's hot it's hot, especially at Myrtle Beach. While you've never fully adhering to the modesty codes upheld by radical religion, you can see how our ancestors, deriving from the hottest places on earth just wanted to prevent sunburns and bug bites by burqas. It finally all makes sense, where coupled with a canopy bed there will always be a layer of cloth between you and the world buzzing around you.
Now should you have forgotten to pick up some spray along the way, you can download several bug repelling iPhone and iPad apps. The app is similar to a dog whistle, however instead of attracting stray puppies, it omits such high frequency sounds that repels bugs. So when news reporter Kerry Sanders recently tested this ludicrous app, he proved anyone with a lick of common sense's theory that it doesn't work. An although product is a bust, there are close to a dozen apps available online ranging in price from free to a buck or two. So obviously someone is buying or downloading these app if so many exist. Which I guess brings us to the point, that should we be stranded on a dessert island this weekend and we're being eaten alive by bugs, most of us would download this app. Why.. well first of all who the hell is Kerry Sanders and second of all how the hell will you know if you never try?
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.