Go big or go home, sure. Bigger is better, ok. Or as Sir-Mix A-Lot put it "I like big butts sand I can not lie." Hmm…well if one thing is for sure, Sir Mix didn't have a giant stuffed animal in his bedroom. Nobody wants to get between the sheets with a giant Winnie the Pooh watching. Speaking of Pooh and Poo, the BBC recently reported that Scotland's sewer system was blocked by an over-sized Winnie the Pooh bear along with several other objects including a bike. Scotland's water management company attributes 80% of clogs to people flushing the wrong things down the shitter, thereby creating 40,000 blockages and costing tax payers £7m a year.
Well there are two ways one goes about acquiring a giant stuffed animal, either from an amusement park rendezvous or a rendezvous with a stalker-like lover. In the amusement park scenario, your kids spent a plethora of your hard earned money on Wack-A-Mole. Rest assured you'll find your teenage son whacking it later, most likely wanking-off with Winnie the Pooh or nutting on Nemo. Now if it's your daughter acquiring the toy, remember you're enabling her emotional dependency whereby she'll be living in your basement till she's forty. Last if you received a giant gift, RUN! It doesn't matter if the gift is a bear or a giraffe, your lover has the spending habits of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl. Not only does you lover want to literately smothering you with the an enormous bear, but they want to mark their territory. Sure the gift signifies affection but is this a pseudonym and psycho? Amazingly enough many websites are sold out of the $250 6 ft. bear, so apparently somebody is buying this shit and or there just isn't enough retail storage space.
Aside from fulfilling some need of affection or overcompensating for something else (below the belt), giant stuffed animals serve no purpose. Sure it's all fun and games, until you clog Scotland's sewer system or Tiny Tim gets a polystrene bean lodged in his nostril. Luxury stuffed animals are filled with synthetic-cotton while the more economic versions are filled with polystrene beans. Anyway you put it, it's still plastic, not recyclable, totally toxic, and waiting to float on the top of the ocean for sea turtles to eat. Yes these are the same beads that fill bean bag chairs, but at least those serve a purpose. I purpose that every buyer of a giant stuffed animal also receive a free kitten or puppy. Give it a week and voila; the puppy or kitty has destroyed the knuckleheads life, torn their favorite giant stuffed animal into shreds, littered little Styrofoam balls high and low, along with urinating and defecating everywhere. But after working their butts off to clean and potty train their little monster, they'll finally know what real love is.
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.