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”

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”

E.T., Go Home

This is another example of a stacker (or nester).  As two separate pieces it represents a somewhat odd couple brought together, it seems, by their shared connection to outer space: One is some kind of one-eyed alien or ET; the other appears to be an astronaut in a G-suit.  Neither appears to be happy, the reasonContinue reading “E.T., Go Home”

Accurate Souvenirs

Unlike the Banffian lions and chuck wagons of my last post, this pair actually has something to do with the place it claims to represent:It is, in fact, a salt-and-pepper version of the Portage La prairie, Manitoba city hall.  The city hall has been divided into two parts, one for salt, one for pepper, likeContinue reading “Accurate Souvenirs”

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”

Uncle Mose and . . . Auntie Mane?

Continuing the theme of stereotypes of people of African descent, there is this pair: Since the human of this pair is wearing what looks sort of like a grass skirt, wielding a club, and accompanied by a lion rather than by a pancake-wielding woman, I presume he is supposed to represent, not an African American,Continue reading “Uncle Mose and . . . Auntie Mane?”

Cabbage Riders

These fellows make no sense to me at all:They are, clearly another pair of black stereotypes–they have the usual thick red lips and round white eyes, a la the Aunt Jemima of my last few posts.  But they are not, this time, African American stereotypes, or if they are I have no idea about whyContinue reading “Cabbage Riders”

The Shaming of a Hard Old Man Like Me

In my last post, I discussed Tavia Nyong’o’s idea that “the shiny, hard, and brittle surfaces of racist ceramic figurines reflect back upon the psychology of scapegoating black children”–a view of “blackness as a hardened form of subjectivity.”  Nyong’o calls it, “this racial simile, a black skin is as hard as stone; not skin atContinue reading “The Shaming of a Hard Old Man Like Me”

Dog and . . . What?

As I was suggesting in my last post, the range of possible go-withs for any specific shaker is as large as the linguistic ingenuity and/or cultural repertoire of its manufacturer.  Consider dogs: We are already familiar with the territory-marking little fellow on the left, happily claiming ownership of the somewhat damaged fellow on the right (noteContinue reading “Dog and . . . What?”