A Modest Proposal

February 3, 2010

America, its been good. You’ve had a good run. You’ve spread some democracy, ended some world wars, and invented consumerism. But I think that it is time to throw in the towel. Yes, I realize we are still at the height of our power; the 90 and early 00s will probably be thought of as the zenith of American power; an untrammeled moment of imperial might, unprecedented power, and utter stupidity. But this is precisely reason to bow out now. For already the music is playing. Do we really want to do the whole decline and fall thing?

Is it really worth it to go on like the Western Roman Empire, only to be battered down by heaping crowds of Goths (probably, in our case rising sea levels, ridic desertification, and loads of cheap, shoddy Chinese products)? Or will we go on in the way of the Eastern Romans, sadly transforming into sad parodies of ourselves, our institutions keeping their names, but becoming little more than keywords we hold for nostalgic value? Do we really want our princeps to become a βασιλευς? I think not. Read the rest of this entry »

Knives

February 3, 2010

Once all the rage, have been gradually fazed out in favor of less damaging forms of cutlery. Knives have also been banned from all sorts of places, such as schools and airports. At one point, my brother was suspended for bringing a squirt gun to school, but this is a different story. He was also banned for bringing a pocket knife to school, which shows the womanly weakness that civilization has imposed upon barbaric masculinity.  Even worse than banning is the wholesale appropriation of the form of the knife into a plastic mold to produce pieces which resemble the products in form, but are insufficient for the fundamental functions which a knife must serve. Having lamented the decline of the knife, it is sufficient to merely tell you that knives have made a  great difference in my life.

That New York Magazine continues to attack shoes is a fact both troubling and puzzling. After all, shoes may be evil, but, considering the urban shrapnel covering our sidewalks, they’re a necessary one. Can’t we just let bygones be bygones, and recognize that shoes carry with them their own discontents?

Yet the most disconcerting part of their continued attack are their tactics. Gone are the reasoned essays discussing the evolution of feet; in their place: cute children. As a sidebar to their piece on child achievement tests is this answer, in mock child handwriting, to the question: “Why do we wear shoes?”

Yes, it’s true that shoes are a part of the style system, but so is New York Magazine, and there is a reciprocal relationship between the two. Would they really want to live in a world without shoes, ergo a world without shoe advertising? It’s clear that no progress will be made until we adopt a positivist assessment of shoes, reforming the system rather than tearing it down completely.