Ted (merovingian) wrote,

I Believe In Capitalism, Honestly and Without Irony

There sure were a lot of great yard sales this past weekend, huh?

I went to one a few blocks from downtown. A surly teenager sat at the table. What really caught my eye was a heavy statue of an elephant, about the size of a football, made out of amber-colored plastic. The price tag said "$1000."

"What's this?" I asked.

"That's the natural extension of an idea, that seems to flow logically from the idea, but that also radically diverges from the original shape and mood intended by the original authors of the idea," said the surly kid, without making eye contact.


"Like, say, the way Jung took Freud's ideas and applied the concept of the unconscious to whole cultures," he said, bored, "Logically related, but radically different. Freud despised Jung for that."

"This statue of an elephant?"

"Yes! Or, for instance, the common American ideal that you can achieve your dreams and accomplish anything if you really want it and try hard enough. It naturally leads to the unintended conclusion that anyone who is poor or powerless just doesn't want their lives better, or that they're too lazy. Not the original intent, and those who propose the original notion would take it as an attack."

"Are you sure you mean this elephant?"

"Wait, let me see that. No, I'm wrong. We already sold that this morning. This one is mislabeled."

"So it's just a doorstop, right? And it shouldn't cost a thousand dollars?"

"No, this thing magically teaches you kung fu or something and it costs five thousand."

Did I mention how much I hate yard sales?
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