Black Like Each Other

Now that I’ve discussed a group of shakers that represent stereotypes of people of African decent in different posts, I thought it might be interesting to see them all together: What intrigues me is the familial resemblance they have to each other.  Whether they’re heading off to sea in Clyde, Alberta or hunting lions inContinue reading “Black Like Each Other”

African American Pancake Pushers

In previous posts, back in March, I tried to come to grips with my responses to the sets of shakers in my collection that depict Native North Americans.  I began by saying of one pair that “It’s that rendering of the toxic as perfectly harmless that most fascinates me about them.”  Later, I described aContinue reading “African American Pancake Pushers”

Miniaturized Workplace Rage

This is a bit of a cheat, maybe.  The typewriter on a desk, I now declare, goes with . . . a computer terminal: Well, it has a keyboard, right?  And it’s sort of like a desk.  You sit at it while working, right?   Or at least, you used to do so, in an earlierContinue reading “Miniaturized Workplace Rage”

Precious in Pink

First, this time, we have a woman sitting beside a woman sitting: Each of the two ladies has a pet, one cat and one dog; and each holds something in her two hands: the cat, and I think (although it’s depicted quite vaguely), a bouquet of flowers.  This new sitting lady is so exceedingly and delicatelyContinue reading “Precious in Pink”

A Different Pair of Binaries

The aboriginal salt-and-pepper sets I’ve been describing in my latest group of posts are all gender-based.  They all consist of of one male and one female–or to be more accurate in the light of their indulgence is stereotypes, one cliché-type brave and one cliché-type squaw–the poem on the female of the pair I looked at in myContinue reading “A Different Pair of Binaries”

More Cute Aborginals

More of my population of youthfully chubby natives.  These guys come with their own teepee–which has a mysterious large hole and a Thunderbird painted below it.   Despite the somewhat mucky colours and unglossy surfaces, these two appear to be utopianly young and adorable, as she holds one of her braids with a come-hither lookContinue reading “More Cute Aborginals”

Ethnic and Racial Slurs

Shortly after I bought my first set of salt-and-pepper shakers, I came upon this one: It’s a perfect representation of the kind of adorable miniaturized  cuteness that defangs–or at least makes less immediately noticeable–its toxicity.  What could be less harmful than this cheerful pair of people at rest, depicted in a world of shiny primaryContinue reading “Ethnic and Racial Slurs”

Cute Newt?

And continuing the theme of cuteness as a way of defusing danger, there are these guys: I’m not exactly sure, but I think they’re supposed to represent Humpty Dumpty.  But why would you have or need two Humpy Dumpties at the same time, unless one were whole and the other smashed?  Or, come to thinkContinue reading “Cute Newt?”

Self-Immolation in a Lobster Pot

I concluded my last post with the cheery thought that the miniaturized and cheerful cuteness of most novelty salt and pepper sets allows them to deflect the dangerousness of the objects and people they represent.  This set seems to represent that quality perfectly. Here we have two jolly lobsters, merrily celebrating their own imminent (andContinue reading “Self-Immolation in a Lobster Pot”

Cuteness

I’ve often had people look at one or another of my salt-and-pepper sets and say, “Oh, that’s really cute.”  And indeed, it strikes me that almost all of the sets I have in my collection do fit easily in the category of “cute.”  The exude cuteness.  Which raises the question: what do we mean whenContinue reading “Cuteness”