Day: November 29, 2008

From Black Friday to a GREEN CHRISTMAS — buying American and boycotting the rest, post-stampede…

Nowhere was the Black Friday stampede more carefully written about than by Rodger Jacobs. It ought to be a must read this morning. By Americans. He is a marvelous writer I’ve known in the blogworld for several years now, but in this piece he points out everything that is WRONG in America today. Here it is:

Extranea: The Fool’s Gold Edition

My mother used to have a piece of fool’s gold that she carried for years. She told me a tale about how she had found it once — and a man laughed at her childish belief that it was real. Well, the actual Christmas “gold” is in people’s hearts, not in the levels of plastic blinky bling manufactured overseas that they can buy. Personally? I’ve decided to BOYCOTT non-American made products.

This is going to be VERY DIFFICULT, because very little is made here any more. But, I will search it out, or make it myself. I basically stopped being a good little consumer when I left the corporate world — but to tell you the truth? I really am sick of buying things that come from China and India. Sick of it.

I never see things made in France or England for sale here — but I would make a point of supporting those countries right now. The other day, not that I needed to, but because I feel guilty over not shopping periodically, I bought some great cooking things from Ross. Four white pottery vessels made in Portugal — to use as casseroles or souffle dishes. That’s it. Yesterday, on Black Friday, I went to the local department store to get the Lancome Christmas special.

I am not going to buy one more thing made in China. Not one. Here is why:

Thieves had the brass to take a miner

A statue was stolen in LA to be sold as scrap metal, overseas. An American statue. I don’t like it.

Just like I’d never want to see the Statue of Liberty statue stolen, either.

“…The theft of the gold miner statue required more audacity.

The miner stood in plain view, perched on a boulder and holding his gold pan, at the busy intersection of San Vicente and Crescent Heights boulevards.

He was something of a character in Carthay Circle, a quaint neighborhood of big ash trees and Spanish and Tudor revival homes. Not too much is known about the statue, but it was sculpted by Henry Lion in 1924 and 1925, along with a fountain, and commemorated 19th century settlers in California.

Authorities across the country say turning sculpture into scrap squanders it, like turning diamonds into coal.

Last month, at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park near Astoria, Ore., a thief stole a 5 1/2 -foot bronze statue of Sacagawea and her baby, valued at $20,000. Police arrested a man and tracked down parts of the statue – sold for scrap for $250.

These guys are getting a penny on the dollar,” said Tom Bergin, sheriff of Clatsop County, Ore. “It’s just ludicrous.”

Shirk says most of the stolen copper, bronze and brass gets shipped to China or India, where it is melted down, mixed with cheaper metals and refabricated. He said that much of the material is ultimately shipped back to the United States as the same type of fittings and valves that were stolen in the first place – but poorer in quality…”

Yeah. Poorer in quality is the keyword here.

“Made in America” is a label I want to see, and so that is one of the reasons I was for John McCain and Sarah Palin — When I couldn’t have Hillary Clinton. It’s not about what I can buy, but it is about supporting small town America — the kind of small towns that have statues like that miner up.

Besides, Christmas isn’t one of their Holidays, anyway. I don’t want Chinese ornaments or Christmas lights. I like these, from my childhood (and earlier) better! I do. I think it was 1981 when I did my first solo tree in college — and I bought the tiny little white lights, and red lights for it. This year?

I wish I had the fat vintage ones my mom had. The kind with replaceable bulbs that were interesting looking. I found the whole history of the American Christmas light over here in Maine, and it is fab! Just to look at them. Think about it. How did we get from their to here in our lifetimes and who profited off of that as all the manufacturing went overseas. Look!

old-christmaslights

woolworthlights

Look at that packaging! It was artful, then. When real graphic designers did the work.

It’s all about that stampede, in a way, and that American statue theft to make melted down components for overseas made lights. Even though I am a GREEN politically, I could align easily with what McCain had in mind for America in terms of small business here.

If I could buy some American-made Christmas lights this year? I’d be happy. I might even do it.

Because they were made HERE. I remember the boycotts of the 70’s — it was a Nader-style thing back then, and it was also a feminist thing to do. If women didn’t like something — it was boycott-o-matic.

Well? This is going to be one of the simplest Christmases I have ever had. I’m going to make things. Last year I collected pinecones and gilded them with a little gold spray paint for decorations. I bought a “pine cone tree” like my grandparents had when I was a child. It was the one ornament I wish I still had of theirs. Every year it came out — a little pine cone that had been decorated with tiny wrapped presents and tiny candles and tiny things on it. The one I bought at the local botanic gardens was similar — in that it was made with the same natural tiny things!

I’m going to bake my grandmother’s recipe for Swedish Christmas Cookies, and Spice cookies and I;’m going to blog those. I’m going to make some NATURAL WREATHS around here. I’m going to buy BOOKS as presents — like I usually do. They matter!

I’m going to do this from scratch, and, I’ll be writing how — in case people don’t know.

As an artist, and historian I am interested in American Regionalism and so I will have a corner promoting that sort of thing.

If you can’t BUY AMERICAN, then MAKE AMERICAN! — it’s that simple.

Merry Christmas after the blackest post Black Friday I have ever seen.

Don’t forget to read Rodger on that, above, on “Fool’s Gold.” — It is just the sort of editorial America needs to read this weekend. And over at the Confluence “State of Disbelief” has the links to buying American here:

http://www.shopunionmade.org/

http://www.buyamerican.com/

It gets the PUMAPAW of APPROVAL to buy American made things.

Because you are helping people HERE!