The News Is a Woman

In the miniverse of salt and pepper shakers, almost everything is either humanized or genderized or both. Most of the apples and bunnies and fire hydrants and yachts have been given some sort of human characteristic–human eyes or mouths or human smiles on non-human mouths. And apparently objects can’t be represented as somehow human withoutContinue reading “The News Is a Woman”

Breeding Like Rabbits

Sometimes sand-and-pepper sets make clear distinctions between the masculinity and femininity of the shakers they contain without having to resort to putting the animal figures they represent into human clothing. You might guess that this particular shaker represents a female rabbit just because she happens to be pink: But if you place her in relationContinue reading “Breeding Like Rabbits”

Underlining Gender Differences–Especially When We Kiss

One of the things I find fascinating about shaker sets is how their basic purpose–to contain two different condiments–becomes the basis of an ongoing confirmation, not only of the difference between salt and pepper, but indeed, of their oppositeness. They’re not just different flavors. One is black and one is white. Black is not justContinue reading “Underlining Gender Differences–Especially When We Kiss”

Le cru et le cuit

In my last post I talked about how categories get confused when you put salt-and-pepper shakers representing food items on a table in the midst of real food items: categories like real and fake, hard and soft, edible and inedible, etc. Yet another such category, one that the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss thought was culture-defining, isContinue reading “Le cru et le cuit”

Scriptive Things, Fifth Verse: A Little Bit Louder, A Little Bit Diverse

The question remains the same.  Generally speaking, what actions or responses do novelty salt and pepper shakers invite when they appear as part of a table setting for a meal?  Most obviously of course, they invite those at the table to shake them, i.e., to put salt and/or pepper on their food–and whatever kind ofContinue reading “Scriptive Things, Fifth Verse: A Little Bit Louder, A Little Bit Diverse”

Scriptive Novelty: A Pair of Bears

And now, on to what scriptive attitudes and actions might be implied by having a set of novelty salt and pepper shakers on the table. Just so that there’ll be something specific to refer to, I offer what I take to be a pretty basic and therefore really rather uninteresting example of the kind ofContinue reading “Scriptive Novelty: A Pair of Bears”

Binaries as Scriptive Things

Before I head onwards towards a consideration of the novelty aspects of shaker sets as scriptive things, I think there’s one other aspect of salt-and-pepper sets generally that needs to be considered:  their implications as a coupled pair.  The question here is not just, why salt and pepper, but also, why salt and pepper together?Continue reading “Binaries as Scriptive Things”

Infinite Loopiness and Racial Segregation

This link will take you to the blog Robin Bernstein’s keeps in relation to her book Racial Innocence, which I discussed in my last post, and from which I’m borrowing her concept of “scriptive things” as a potential way of understanding more about salt and pepper shaker sets.  Once you get there, you’ll discover thatContinue reading “Infinite Loopiness and Racial Segregation”

Miniature, Lifelike and Dead

This is a nester and a go-with, both at once.  Not only is it  a slice of toast to go with a toaster, but the slice of toast nests into the toaster: After that, though, I really have nothing much to say about it.  It’s cute of course, in the way that miniature versions of thingsContinue reading “Miniature, Lifelike and Dead”

Unusual Bisectionality

At first glance this is only a little bit weird. It involves a dog and a fire hydrant, as did the subject of an earlier posting:But that dog was doing the sensible doggy thing and peeing on the hydrant.  This one, for no apparent reason, has nested itself atop the hydrant.  Was the dog attemptingContinue reading “Unusual Bisectionality”