We exist in a kind of brand mania that asserts that everything from your razor blade to your public library to the I.R.S. needs to have a relatable personality.
The above quote was taken from a New York Times Style Magazine article dated October 25, 2015, written by Michael Rock entitled, Hooked on a Feeling. Rock mentions, “Through the use of the various social media platforms everything and everyone has its own brand, lacking human emotions. Why are we all so susceptible to manufactured emotion. Why are we so needy?”
I argue, throughout history people have always coveted “objects of desire” to define a public persona.”Conspicuous consumption,” the public display of economic power has been around since the leisure class. I believe branding only suits largely distributed objects and not individuals. Social media has corrupted the “one-on-one look me in the eyes conversation,” creating a lack of empathy.
Michael Rock’s article reminds me of Cicero’s famous quote, “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”
Here’s what defines me:
The vibrancy of colors in nature.
The memories of crocheting 100 flowers for an art class, while the remaining students used technology.
Conversations with my husband.
My latest knitting project.
Those of us who knit, know about the “sweater curse” when knitting a sweater (or scarf) for a boyfriend. Today, I read an article from the New Yorker written by Alison Lurie, dated August 28, 2013, reviewing Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, editor Ann Hood, which mentions the same can happen to a relationship between two women.
Wow! who knew the “sweater curse” is not gender/relationship specific. This phenomenon is interesting on so many different levels.
Can another person truly appreciate the collections of another? I’ve been contemplating the answer to this question. Each time I climb the stairs to my attic, I transcend the reality of down below. Surrounded by bins full of color, texture, and print transports me to a reality all my own. Will someone else be able to share my reality or create their own?
I own three Singer sewing machines, two Bernina sewing machines and one Bernina Funlock machine. My first Singer was given to me by my parents as a Christmas gift, the second was given to me by my husband when I was expecting our daughter, and the third I bought from a co-worker who needed the money. The Bernina I purchased for myself and the second Bernina was given to me after my mother-in-law passed away. Each machine, as silly as it sounds, represents a stage in my life. They are a part of my history.
Which brings me to the reason for this post…I didn’t think I had much in common with Betty, except for her son and granddaughter, my husband and daughter. Well, that was until I inherited her sewing machine, fabric and notions.
Rarely, did I see Betty wear color, but her thread collection reflects a different story.
The Stretch and Sew pins bring back memories of the Stretch and Sew knits http://www.asg.org/files/hall/2004_Person.pdf. I can’t part with her collection of hotel sewing kits, especially the one from a hotel in Sri Lanka. Betty was a world traveler reflected by the stamps in her passports (which I’ve got for safe keeping). Her collection of silk from Thailand and India, and batiks from Bali.
I appreciate Betty’s love of travel and culture, narrated by her gifts to me.
Two days ago, I decided to deactivate my Facebook and disengage from the Twitterati. Why do these two decisions deserve such attention? Well, why should the fact that I still own a “clam shell style” cell phone define me as not current with technology or put me in a particular age demographic? Just out of curiosity, I went to a 2004 edition of Merriam-Webster Dictionary to look up the definition of twitter n…1: a slight agitation of the nerves 2: a small tremulous intermittent noise (as made by a swallow) 3: a light chattering. I also looked up social media’s definition of Twitter just for kicks, which basically uses the same definition. I’ve realized I want more. I am not interested in a surface level agitation of my nerves or a conversation consisting of a limited number of characters.
This is what matters to me.