Tag Archives: design

Square Plates Are an Abomination on the Face of a Dying Earth

imageA crises faces this generation. It is the crisis of the square plate, the better-than-you-evenly-sided monstrosity, the good-luck-getting-the-sauce slap in the face which is plaguing our restaurants, our cities, and our dogs.

I am not a foodie. I am not a restauranteur nor a critic nor a connoisseur of anything, not even church bathrooms or peanut butter. I do not claim to possess special knowledge, powers, or high fives and I do not boast exceptional height or good looks.

But I hope you will hear me for my cause, for I am a human. I am a person with almost disposable income, and I believe that I possess the right – nay – I demand the right to eat out of dishes that do not make me feel like a robot or a farm animal. I demand the right to eat out of proper dishes, not some trumped up piece of garbage, some toilet shard that is barely passing for a plate in what is barely passing for a place of hospitality.

This is the struggle of our times. At the very height of human civilization, how is it possible that some have fallen so very low and are wallowing in the dregs of second-rate design, inhaling the exhaust of fads farting their way through existence. It is, to put it bluntly, ugly. It is ugly. Not only is it ugly in form, it is ugly in function, a true Jezebel of the dinner table, an embarrassment in porcelain’s clothing, an emperor wearing no clothes and caught trying to attend a Zumba class.

It’s hard to know what is most terrible about this shameful spit of anti-design malfeasance. Is it how terribly clunky it is, its nightmarish IKEA edges, or its unforgivable flatness and lack of inspiration disguised as modernity? Is it the way it makes you want to smash it on the ground before it sucks any more life out of the world or causes yet another person to question their hopes and dreams? Is it the way that it is somehow smug, like someone who is technically nice but still makes you want to strangle them?  Is it the violence it inspires in everyone who sees it?

Only God in God’s infinite wisdom can fathom and place a name on the depth of this plate’s crime against all that is good and holy, for it is an abomination on the face of a dying earth.

I do not know the future and can merely put one step in front of another and take one breath at a time. But I hope and I pray for a day when all humanity will rejoice and join together in song as we dance and dance and dance, trampling the very last square-edged faux-modern plate into dust which will then blow away harmlessly into the boiling seas.

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7 Uses of a Unicorn Carcass

3rd time I’ve used this picture. Gotta stop talking about unicorns.

A message from the U.S. Executive Office of Wildlife Conservation:

Unicorns are a blight on our country. Not only are they a destructive and invasive species, but their very presence is an abomination. Unicorn eradication should be America’s number one priority, second only to starting another war somewhere (Iran!) and eliminating women’s rights.

For this reason, the U.S. Executive Office of Wildlife Conservation has issued a direct order mandating the death of each and every unicorn on sight. No longer will they sweetly neigh their morning songs or gently traipse alongside country paths on pearly hoof. Not one more day shall they terrorize school children by defending nerds and making lollipops sprout out of the earth with their suspicious unicorn magic.

With the help of faithful US citizens and patriots, such as yourselves, these meddlesome unicorns will soon be dead, and ‘round the piles of their motionless bodies shall many a child, mother, and father dance the dance of the victorious. Unfortunately, since current budget restrictions do not allow the US government to participate in the Great Unicorn Corpse Removal, we are calling on countrymen and women to do their part in this effort after they finish the dance of the victorious. We realize this is a rather gruesome inconvenience, but we hope you will soon some to realize that killing the unicorn is merely half the fun.

In order to help you, our loyal citizens, we have spent billions of dollars creating a new department and hiring thousands of employees in pursuit of the best ways to use the entire body of a dead unicorn. We are certain that the American people will once again come through with impressive innovation skills and make some wonderful home crafts while also purifying the earth of this reprehensible paranormal being.

Here are the top 7 uses our experts have found for the various parts of the unicorn carcass.

1. Unicorn horn chandelier: A wonderful project if you’re located in a particularly infested area. The horn is even more luminescent during full moons. Warning: see health risks section.

2. Unicorn hoof ashtray: The pearly finish is sure to go with any décor, especially nursing home and doll house themed interiors.  The ashtray perfumes the room with the scent of a secret midnight garden.

3. Meat: self explanatory. See our website for glitter stew, sparkleballs, glimmer nuggets, and shine steak recipes. Warning: see health risks section.

4. Magic powder: The horn, hooves, and bones can all be ground to create a powder of mysterious magical qualities. Our experts are still studying its properties. Whatever you do, don’t give any to Ron.

5. Unicorn pelt lunchbox: The status symbol of the year. Changes colors with the unicorn queen’s mood, provided she’s not dead. Warning: see health risks.

6. Vest with no buttons: A statement your neighbors are sure to notice. Let the vest flap in the breeze as you sparkle along and leave a visible glitter trail in the air behind you.

7. Halloween costume: Go to your local unicorn taxidermist and have the body prepared as a human garment. Wear it next Halloween when you really want to scare the kids, “Ahhh I thought we killed all of them! I don’t want any more lollipops! Ahhhh!”

Now get out there and do your duty. Start slaying!

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A Lighter and a Muse

A peanut, tweezers, and thing of floss for size comparison.

On a run to purchase ingredients for an intrepid night of pie making in post-revolutionary Cairo, we also picked up a lighter for our kitchen stove.

Though it has all the class of a 7-11, I have found within it incredible meaning beyond its mass produced tackiness. For me, it symbolizes some of my feelings about the move to Mohandiseen and my new life there more perfectly than any lighter has ever symbolized anything.

The raw picture of uncertainty and irony on the body of the lighter is enough to move one to tears or sleepiness. “S..OKY” is scrawled across it, a grotesque, hairless face with inhuman eyes, a cavernous mouth, and unexpectedly straight teeth blocking the middle letters of the word. Were the head not there it might read “SPOOKY.”

As I thought about this later on, the adjective resonated with me. Isn’t every time one moves into an unknown place a little spooky? Mohandiseen itself is eerily quiet and pleasant to walk around in, with a bizarre number of trees and expensive coffee shops. Couldn’t this be scary to someone who is used to living near only one expensive coffee shop around the corner from a Pizza Hut? Stricken by the unexpected depth I found in the fifty cent kitchen device, I probed further.

The gaping mouth is my earlier extreme thirst for coffee that went unsatisfied because I could not ignite the stove without matches.  I had forgotten to purchase some when I was at the store, which is heart breaking since they were the only thing I really needed in order to make my Nescafe.

The eyes on the lighter are a picture of this coffee-less, ironic, hell that I experienced today, since they are open but do not see, just as I had coffee but was not able to drink it. Covering up some of the letters introduces an element of chaos in the picture. It might actually read Socky, a friendly hand puppet, or “Smoky” in an anti-smoking warning, which would complement the other ironic undertones of the lighter.

And then I began to wonder whether it even matters what is written? Don’t we evaluate the picture and the letters as a whole and formulate our own truths, which must be equally valid regardless of whether or not there is supposed to be an anti-smoking message or a call to be kinder to our sock friends? The philosophical ambiguity of the lighter highlights the mixed emotions I have about living in an area where a pro-Mubarak protest was held a little over a month ago. The people here by and large did not suffer to the same degree under the past regime as did those who were not as well off. Indeed, many in this are grew wealthy during that time period and were sad to see Mubarak and the good ol’ days go down the revolutionary toilet.

Does living here make me one of them? If I eat fool (beans) and ta’amiya (Egyptian falafel) every day and ride the metro, does that still connect me with the “people?” It’s these kinds of questions, mainly philosophical, that the new lighter has ignited (pun?) in my mind. I’m glad to have such a thought-provoking piece of functional art at my disposal in order to stir the thinking wells of my brain.

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