Archive | 10:06 am

What Have I Become, My Sweetest Friend?

10 Aug

One of the good things about Wilmington is that being here forces me to read.  I don’t have regular access to internet here, I don’t have very many friends here (awww), and I don’t have a car.  All those mean that my joys here are eating lunch, working out, drinking (usually by myself–awww), and reading magazines that I purchase from the Amtrak newsstand.

One of the bad things about Wilmington is that I’m pretty much limited to purchasing my magazines at that newsstand, which is small.  Thus, I’ve already read this month’s Esquire, GQ, Atlantic, Men’s Health, and Details magazines.  Unless I want to delve into, say, Cosmopolitan or People, I’ve pretty much gone through all my options.

Merits of Wilmington aside, Details had an interesting spread on the artisanal movement and how ubiquitous it’s become.  As stated by the author:

What’s new is the astonishing ubiquity of the aesthetic. Small-scale has hit it big. Farmer’s markets sell artisanal cheeses— and so does Costco. Suits available in midwestern malls have machine-made details that mimic the hand stitching once found only on a Neapolitan tailor’s eccentrically rolled lapel.

Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong per se with this newfound appreciation for craftsmanship.  Indeed, I think it’s great that we can purchase exceptional items made by small producers.  I recognize, however, that just as with “biodynamic” and “organic”, “artisanal” can be co-opted by large corporations (or even by small producers who don’t necessarily use the best ingredients, components, or methods and are simply coattailing on the efforts of others) for their own benefit. 

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