Wednesday, November 22, 2006




Is the vintage novelty print inherently racially essentialist? Is kitsch tainted by a cultural hierarchy that deems some cultures “colorful” and “exotic”?

This is a tea towel. Or perhaps a trap.

Why do I feel that it’s okay to exoticize Europeans? I mean, isn’t this just a stereotype too? But here’s how my mind works: I suddenly want a Scottish novelty print with men in kilts dancing the Highland Fling all over a tartan background. Or Russian nesting dolls drinking vodka coming undone before a backdrop of Onion Domes. Or the guards of Buckingham palace sipping tea under umbrellas. Or Dutch windmills and wooden shoes smoking hash.

Guilty as charged.

Take a good look at the recipe. Doesn’t that Tortilla Sacromonte sound good?

Okay goslings, now this is serious. Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. And you don’t have to do it. Instead, you could participate in Buy Nothing Day. You could stay home and eat a tortilla Sacromonte and watch a Cary Grant movie. You could have friends over and feed them. You could spend the whole day mediating on your excesses, or the horrors of war, or death or loving kindness. You could go to the park and feed the squirrels. You could blog, clean out your closet, read Patrick Dennis’ Little Me, or write your memoirs. Just don’t give in to the madness, okay? Don’t you already have plenty of credit card debt?

As to the annoyance of xmas gifts, this is the time of year to enjoy being a Jew.

What? Some of you are not Jewish? Shocking! Well, why not convert? Now most rabbis will tell you it takes between 8 to 10 years. But my mother said Elizabeth Taylor converted in a weekend to marry Eddie Fisher, so why not ask around? Maybe Islam is more your style. Converting is super easy and you can hang out at the lovely modern mosque on East 96th Street and 3rd Ave, or whirl with the Sufis. Or why not investigate Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism or atheism, goddamn it.

But there’s a problem. You’ve been busy eating potato latkes or planning a hajj. Maybe the Cargo Cult in Melanesia is your bag. Suddenly it’s xmas and friends or family have bought you nice stuff and you feel like a schmuck. Ideally, make them all gifts. Now I can’t knit, or make jam, or even bake. But surely you have some skill or talent that can crank out something useful, no? If not, get thee to the craft fairs, buy stuff from local artists. Or better yet, get folks tickets to plays or concerts you think they’ll enjoy.

1 Comments:

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8:24 PM  

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