Skip to main content

What is it about miniatures?

Cut and paste the link below to an amazing DIY miniature version of Bag End, Bilbo and Frodo's ancestral home.

http://community.livejournal.com/little_world/39277.html?view=211565
















Unbelievable.


What, indeed, is it about miniatures? Doll houses, dioramas, model train layouts, all endlessly fascinating. I'm not sure if it's the "let's play God!" impulse, or a translation of that urge that drives us to climb mountains and seek out high places--that the more we can see around us, the more time we'll have to react to whatever it is that might be coming to kill and eat us. Which could be another way to play God. Bolstering the illusion of delaying the inevitable lets us push away the nihilism that can creep in as we play out our lives. It's almost a counterbalance to the myriad of small and large deaths and reminders of death that fill each day. One of the connections Harry Frankfurt makes in On Bullshit (which I just read Thursday for a class presentation on The Hoax, the story of Clifford Irving's Howard Hughes Autobiography scam) is the similarity of Hot Air and Bullshit. Both are ways of saying that a person's words are without what we think of as content, that just as excrement is food-substance stripped of nutrition, so hot air is exhalation stripped of content. Frankfurt ends his exploration of Bullshit in a different place than I would end mine (the final words of the book: "sincerity is bullshit." No joke.), using it to take potshots at the death of "reality" thanks to modern scholarship. One focus of feminist and other scholarships is consideration of the ethics and repercussions of one's work, and I was disappointed in Frankfurt that he dealt with what I see as today's greatest and most dangerous Bullshit slingers (advertisers, the president, spokespersons, PR flacks, etc.) only glancingly. Post-modern scholarship isn't the source of all the Bullshit we are drowning in, but rather an attempt to make sense of it, a reflection of the way we are changing as a culture.
...What was I talking about all this bullshit for again? Oh, Frankfurt makes the point that shitting is a small, daily (if you're lucky) reminder of death, that poop is one of the deadest substances we encounter. I'm probably going to update and change this post, since it's early on a Saturday morning, and the brain, she is not working so good. Here's some photos of a diorama in the International Museum of Folk Art, in Santa Fe, NM.:
















Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Family and Gender in Ancient Rome

I mentioned below that Prof. Diane Lipsett delivered a wonderful lecture on the conversation currently taking place between New Testament scholars, family historians, social archaeologists and the like. The title of this post is actually the title of en entire semester-long course taught by Prof. Lipsett, so for our, geez, ninety minute session she condensed her focus to Men, Women, and Children in Ancient Rome. With her permission, I am posting my notes from this lecture below, tweaked a little for readability.

Prof. Lipsett is interested in studies of gender formation among non-elites as well as elites, those people about whom we know much less because they did not have the resources or clout to commemorate and study themselves, generally speaking.

Roman households were much broader than we conceive of in modern terms, with a wide spectrum of people connected by family and employment living under one roof (the terms domus/eikos/ikea capture this idea of an indiscriminate household…

Catching Up and Overtaking

Around this time last year I stopped using Facebook. This was not a principled, or even conscious, decision: one morning I pulled my phone out, and as my finger hovered over the Facebook icon a deep and uneasy resistance came over me. After a few days the initial desire to log in faded and a kind of reverse inertia set in: not checking Facebook became as much a habit as checking it had been.It was a bad year, scandals-wise, for Facebook, but the haphazard nature of my nonparticipation kept me from feeling smug. Plus I'd really ramped up my Twitter use, and Lord knows that platform has its own issues. What's more, Twitter amplified a side of my personality in a way that Facebook didn't (or at least as much): mean-spirited, factional, shitposting. Anger is an important emotion, and expressing it is important; but there are times on Twitter where I just feel *hostile*. Unkind. Certainly unministerial.Meanwhile in the real world, I spent the last year diving much more deeply i…

Friday Night

I feel drained after this week.So I'm lifting weights by myself in the exercise room of the ArbCo Common House, doing KenKen puzzles in between sets, and feeling really glad I shelled out $30 on a cheapo Bluetooth speaker. It's astonishing that something that fits inside my water glass is capable of being too loud. Aesop Rock, Haim, Mike Doughty, Paper Tiger, and Lorde: this next set's for you. To come: some recent pictures I've made that I like.