Thursday, 4 August 2011

Because everybody hates a tourist. Especially one who think's it's all such a laugh

Well it's raining here today so no pictures as everything is grey, but I just wondered what you thought of this. This is what Regretsy thinks of it (for those of you who don't want to click the links - perhaps your computer is very slow and sounds like a hairdryer whenever it encounters Flash, like mine - it's from the etsy blog, about two people who spent fifteen thousand dollars on a wedding with a depression/ hobo theme). I don't have time to say too much about it, because I'm too busy planning my Ragged Trousered Philanthropists themed party. We're all going to wear inadequate clothing and pretend to have consumption brought on by bad living conditions, and while we're nibbling canap├ęs I'm going to push someone off a ladder. It's going to be loads of fun, and not questionable at all, because apparently poverty is actually really quaint and a bit picturesque if it's pre-1940. (Mind you, I always find this book a bit difficult as well, although that is based on skim reading it in Heffers so I may be being entirely unfair. Has anyone read it? Also, my amazon-basket-hand, so to speak, is hovering over The Grapes Of Wrath. Should I?).

Bonus points for any of you who read the bit in the etsy article about cutting up vintage quilts to make table runners and bunting and winced. They couldn't find $40 out of that $15K to buy a couple of metres of Amy Butler? And here's half the internet thinking they don't know anything about deprivation.


Anonymous said...

Nope, as things to worry about this does not rate that high in my list. There are the living for a start. People will always spend their money in different ways and people will disagree about what it should/could be spent on. As for chopping up vintage quilts well a certain well known blogger recently chopped up vintage embroidered cloths to make a quilt. People thought it was great and she was praised to the heavens. A couple of dissenting voices were shot down in flames and called trolls. It goes on a lot does chopping up old stuff that might have historical value if left alone. You might even argue that all recycling is guilty of this - defacing of the nations future historical artifacts. Hmmm. Anyway there was a wedding, no one got hurt. Weddings cost loads of dosh (I know, they don't have to but people do nevertheless spend fortunes on them). Just because people disapprove does not mean the money would have been spent on Save the Children or something instead. It doesn't work like that. So, vaguely distasteful but that's all. After all, people love the voyeurism of Shameless on TV and other shows that aren't even acted but are reality based, don't they? Watching the 'Chavs' they despise for entertainment and amusement is a bona fide thing to do; often enjoyed by the same people who want to eradicate poverty - or so they say - yet they look down on the home grown kind. Poverty amuses the masses now today, in our living rooms and these are the poor who are actually living among us now. Real people. Poor ones. Not dead or anything convenient like that. People love nothing more than deriding the cultures of the living poor. Patronage of poverty and what to do about it has long been an occupation and the domain of the not so poor and a good conscience assuager, yet how much good do they actually do? Few people actively work for change and no one thinks to ask the poor themselves what they want. Poverty is just seen ultimately as a concept by many, and yes there is lots of discussion. However, not many actually want to do anything about it do they? So, I think people should just move along. There was really nothing much to see. Offence is a bit misguided and a useless emotion in this instance I feel.

I have had it pointed out to me that this has turned into a rant and has nothing to do with anything you posted and that people will think I am rapid and mad. So, this comment comes with a complete lack of endorsement from those that know me.

Anonymous said...

Or even rabid and mad!

Susie said...

Quite rapid but not rabid ;-).

I don't mind them spending $15K on a wedding. If you've got it and want to spend it on a wedding, why not? If people followed me round looking at what I spend money on they'd probably not like it, ditto for everyone. What I find mildly distasteful is the references in the article to how it's appropriate to have a depression themed wedding because they're poor themselves. I think that's a lack of sensitivity or just complete dimness, which is a bit depressing. It probably doesn't warrant being all over the internet but, yes, I do find it distasteful. Re mocking present day poor: two words, Little Britain, and you're right re reality tv. Also, culture of mocking helps us to see the poor as other, thus making it easier for govt to cut welfare benefits/ legal aid without there being a national outcry. I can get more depressing than this but I'll spare you ;-).

Quilts/ recycling: I once saw a blog where someone had cut up a beautiful camel wrap coat with a (fake I think) fur collar and made a stuffed rabbit O_O. I generally think if you are making something that will be used from things that can't be any more (and some things to be honest are a bit crap to start with) then more power to you: if the things are still good then it gets difficult. I don't know though. I'm tempted to say, post the tablecloth link because I want to look, but that would be naughty x

Anonymous said...

Re stuffed rabbit - Oh dear! I've seen rabbits made from old embroideries and fabric but not a whole coat. I agree there is argument about whether it is OK or not to cut up stuff, it isn't totally clear cut. I don't buy the 'better snipped up and used than put in a drawer' approach though. Fashions change and of course a couple of hundreds of years down the line, any fragments are of interest but whole pieces are best. What we now consider boring unusable table cloths will be respected for coming from the period in history, when they were in full use and will be considered representative. If we cut them ALL up then there won't be any. The blog I gave in my example is one you mentioned here a while ago. It isn't that the quilt is awful but I wonder about people buying up all the vintage stuff in order to snip it up; there is a pretension about it and also an undefined definition of what vintage means. The quilt has got lots of ladies in crinolines prancing about on it. It got lots of ooh's. (But so does a picture of yesterday's pudding on some blogs.) So much is described as vintage but I don't really get what it is. I don't actually disapprove of recycling, far from it - that would be silly of me.

I like your point about seeing poor people as other. Divide and rule is what it is all about.

resa said...

What is it about themed weddings lately? First the colonial themed wedding In South Africa, now this.

Romanticizing the past is generally problematic, always has been always will be. Runs the gamut from wishing for the good old days of an idealized white washed society to those Others sure did know how to have fun.

Go for Grapes of Wrath if you wanna, but if you haven't read Travels With Charley yet you should. Hilarious.

J.G. said...

Seems to me they could have spent a lot less and had real proverty instead of faux poverty. But hey, that's just me, neither rabid nor rapid.

I can recommend both The Grapes of Wrath and Travels with Charley. Both have their down moments, but the writing is superb and the overall effect is uplifting.