I was all excited to get down to brass tacks and do some serious craigslist spelunking after a day off (rippin' it up at the velodrome--support your local bike racers by hitting up Tuesday night races through October!). There will be so many new ads, I thought, such bounty! Wrong. Quiet days. I have had to dig and delve like some sort of mutant digging delver to unearth the secret treasures. Runner-Up earns the honorable mention for such a dynamic use of the 'CapsLock' key and for not putting pictures up--you'd think that would be a prerequisite to selling art, eh?

I have decided to award the Best-Of to the following:

Black SentrySafe Safe - $20 (Normal Heights)

Seems boring, but I really can't let this slip through the cracks. It's a real gem when you consider that how the safe "has good weight to it" is apparently its biggest selling point. I have a soft spot for such meaningful--however erroneous--gestures, assessments, and the like. I heard a story once where a customer told a welder, "nice welds" and the welder replied, "how can you tell?" because it's not like the guy could judge the strength of a molecular bond just by looking.

We all do it: what happens when the car breaks down? You open the hood and look at the motor. What are you looking for? Unless the engine is visibly puking fluids, the source of the problem is unlikely to present itself to you on cursory visible inspection. Yet, because we feel that we must, somehow, maintain a degree of agency and control in our lives, we all open up the hood and stare at the motor.

I realize that sounds a little desperate, as though I'm saying we all fear some sort of metaphorical impotence and must make empty gestures to maintain a semblance of control over the world as we perceive it. Perhaps I am saying that, I'll own such a prediction, but maybe it is not so desperate as it at first seems. I think, in a lot of ways, the act of judging, say, the heft of a safe as indicative of its qualifications qua securing precious items actually functions to make the use of the safe possible in the first place. Beyond the guarantees of the manufacturer--which could easily amount to little more than a sales tactic--there is no real, concrete way to know that a safe actually works. Giving it a lift and making the correlation between heft and functionality is the irrational, but tremendously important, gesture which allows the safe-owner to trust the safe enough to commit valuable documents to its protection. There is a lot of power in that action, in the bringing into being of a reality which allows you to function in the world.

More like this:


CuddleFish Sept. 30, 2009 @ 3:42 p.m.

Well, I get your point, but just to be argumentative.

When a person says, "Nice welds," he may be refering to how the welds appear to be neatly done which would imply good work, skill, craftsmanship. If this person had seen a number of bad welds, or was a welder him or herself, maybe s/he could judge just by looking at the welds that they were good quality welds.

The fact that the safe has weight signifies, well, weight. It isn't flimsy, it isn't something a robber could grab and go, it isn't something the kids are going to be able to drag around or break, not easily broken into, a serious safe, in other words.

Though I must say, I watch House Hunters on HGTV and it always interests me how potential buyers walking through a house do things like say slide out a drawer, as if that's going to tell them whether the roof is leaky or the foundation is cracked! And their favorite word, said in every room: "Nice."


FullFlavorPike Sept. 30, 2009 @ 5:25 p.m.

It's been said that (because of the way we approach the world linguistically) our thinking is always metaphorical or metonymical. A combination of both factors is at play here, inasmuch as nothing is ever cut and dry, but this seems to be more of a metonymic line of thinking when some contiguous part (a pretty weld, a stunning medicine cabinet) is substituted for the greater whole (a solid molecular bond, a house built to last) which is either harder to understand than the simpler term, or quite inaccessible to begin with.


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 1:43 a.m.

I'm in love. He says "delve" without any unnecessary prepositions attached :)


FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 1:58 a.m.

I'm a bit surprised you didn't go straight for my flagrant use of "qua." Good little neo-Lacanian that I am.... ;)


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:05 a.m.

Apropos of nothing, that reminds me of these tv crime shows, where you have two hosts. One sitting host introduces the story of the crime in weighty tones, but who can't be associated that closely with the actual crime. So he then passes this sludge on to the 'walking' host, generally a woman who makes traditionally male, rhetorical, pointy, triangulated, reassuring and rational hand-holding gestures, but she must discuss the details of the story. It's a way of easing you into down into the filthy well-hole as gently as possible; then at the end of it all, right when you've forgotten there is an 'up' or outside to the story, you are led back to the omniscient 'seated' host again, sometimes seated before a screen like a mirror-scry, and it is like that respectable moment of Jerry Springer, with some kind of platitude or moral conclusion we should keep in mind, such as...'forensics will out!' or 'bad guys rot in prison!' :)


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:09 a.m.

Pike philosophizes: "(because of the way we approach the world linguistically) our thinking is always metaphorical or metonymical...)

and obviously quite the little semiotician, which of course Pikey has to be, in order to make any sense of Lacan. Ever read Lacan on television?

I mentioned Lacan the other thread, didn't I? I love him, too--and all his 'quas.'


David Dodd Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:11 a.m.

Pike, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but know that you're harshing my Platonist mellow here. After all, it's the essence of the object that defines the object. Otherwise, I'm going to go see about that safe, and have take a hammer a drill and a crowbar with me, because if I can break into that sucker, then all bets are off.


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:14 a.m.

Speaking of hand gestures, I'm quite comforted by the feminized, manicured hand floating next to the safe. It says..."Hello, treat yourself to a survey of the features of this fine, weighty object."

It is probably sweeping across the length of the inscrutable wall of surface with a gala-delighted cocktail gesture, like one of Bob Barker's beauties.


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:15 a.m.

Dude, do not speak of essence here! Instead, speak about harshing mellows :)


David Dodd Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:23 a.m.

But essence is the thing, SD (popping my last beer for the evening), I mean, how do you pimp a safe? The only real way to ensure that it works is to prove it would foil a would-be invader, otherwise one is left with only the essence to define such an object.

It would have made for one hell of a Monty Python skit, regardless.


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:34 a.m.

Essence is yes "THE" thing, refried. I shall go smoke a cig, and return. Hopefully you will still be here to talk about the naivete of essence :)


SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 2:37 a.m.

refried mused: "otherwise one is left with only the essence to define such an object...It would have made for one hell of a Monty Python skit"

Surely, it has! We can think of one, Pike?


FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 10:35 a.m.

Y'all pull the night shift here, eh?

As far as Python goes, I've two words for you: "The LARCH"

WHEREIN, the same visual image/referent is paired with differing and purposefully absurd acoustic signs to the effect that the thing, its essence, and its signification breaks down in a puff of British humour. Of course, if refried is getting out the bombs and prybars, all talk of philosophy becomes swiftly irrelevant and we all become well-armed materialists.


SDaniels Oct. 3, 2009 @ 2:52 a.m.

Something here for everyone! (Baudrillard, refried, Carroll, Pike, Borges, SD)



rickeysays Oct. 3, 2009 @ 3:08 a.m.

At our core, we're still the little kid who wants to touch everything that catches his eye as his mom drags him down the aisle, telling him "don't touch!" Explains why people open up the glass door to look at the ice cream flavors. It's not real until you touch it.


FullFlavorPike Oct. 3, 2009 @ 3:53 p.m.

DO you agree or disagree on the matter of The LARCH, SD? I'm curious now!


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