Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bow-ties and High Noon

More and more we live in a word-less world. By that, I don't mean a silent one but rather, a world in which you can scrape by with pictures and symbols. I love looking at the tags in shirts--it's like a graduation from Semaphore University. There's no bleach, hang-dry only, wash in cold water, dolphin-free, dry-clean, only etcetera.

I thought it reassuring that no matter where in the world you travel those symbols are the same until I realized it has a lot to do with the manufacturing process and that almost all the clothes we buy, no matter where in the world we live, are made in the same third-world sweat shops. That's more likely the reason why the care symbology at the collar is the same. Oh.

I'm not going to hold a Geography Bee with Carmen Lauer and Matt San Diego on where our clothes are made, because I have no trouble finding my way around as nearly everyone, be it at home or at work, tells me where to go. And that's an unfair advantage even for television stars to overcome.

What I am intrigued by is how our technology, not knowing where in the world we will use it, has created its own language to which we have universally adapted. Do you remember when you used to yell for 'Help!'. Our machines' clocks do the same thing, sort of, except they flash 12:00--we all know that means there's trouble at the mill and are now conditioned, when we see it, to look around for a cause.

My smart-phone does this weird little vamp when it's loading an application (I had to ask someone who knows about phones to describe that process so I could write it down here. I have so little idea of how the device works, when it doesn't work, someone else has to tell me as I cannot figure it out by myself). Maybe yours does the 'gimme a minute jitterbug', too.

It looks like a vertical bow-tie and then it starts to whirl and twirl in a clockwise direction. Someone told me it's NOT a bow-tie at all, it's supposed to be an hour glass. That actually makes more sense to me, since that would have something to do with time, which is what the device is wasting, and not neck wear, of which I have a closetful though I have no idea of its purpose (or didn't) even though most workdays I wear one.

Every time I see the posters for the raffles, there's always the disclaimer at the bottom, 'duplicate prizes awarded in the event of ties' and I keep thinking, today's the day. Good fortune, here I am! Luck be a Lady tonight. And yet all I ever win is a dry-clean only dolphin two sizes too small, no bleach only.
-bill kenny

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