A Lobster Dressed for Lobster Fishing.

Here’s an addition to my series of posts on animals in human clothing that introduces a new hat but begins with a memory of some old ones. Some time ago, I wrote a post on this blog about these lobsters and their participation in their own death by boiling (see earlier post here): Back then,Continue reading “A Lobster Dressed for Lobster Fishing.”

Both Elegant and Kitschy

My favourite salt and pepper shaker set that transforms the surface it sits on from a hard surface to one that implies the surface’s permeability is this one: It consists of just those two quite elegant and curvy triangular shapes–each on their own an interestingly abstract sculpture, perhaps.  But somehow, together, their representational intent becomesContinue reading “Both Elegant and Kitschy”

Bath, Beneath, and Beyond

Continuing on with shaker sets that imply an invisible beneath, there is this pair: Once more, the shakers represent something that is standing in water, this time two bathers.  We see only the top third or so of their bodies, but knowledge of the way things usually are allows us  to assume that the expectablyContinue reading “Bath, Beneath, and Beyond”

Duck, Ducking

Here is a mysterious object: Some kind of abstract sculpture, perhaps?  Or is it a ghost or an alien or a member of the Ku Klux Klan carrying scrolls?  Or are those sausages, perhaps, or maybe cat-tails? Cat-tails they are.  For if I place this shaker beside its partner, all is revealed: Those are inContinue reading “Duck, Ducking”

The Implied Beneath

While it might not be apparent on first glance, this is a salt and pepper shaker set: This set represents the Bluenose, the Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia that has been appearing on Canadian dimes for many decades: While it’s a little hard to make out, since it consists of slightly raised brown letters on the same brownContinue reading “The Implied Beneath”

Asa’s Ship Comes In

This is the salt and pepper shaker set my son Asa recently made and gave me as a Christmas present: It actually does work as a set of shakers: as the picture reveals, the mast is held in place by a cork that stops the hole where you can put salt (or pepper), and theContinue reading “Asa’s Ship Comes In”

Ahoy, Maties

Nor, I now see, are the gay sailors I talked about in my last entry the only completely masculine pair in my collection.  There are also these guys: It’s interesting that these two, as stereotyped pirates, should also have a connection to the sea, and should also be old and somewhat timeworn, with a whiteContinue reading “Ahoy, Maties”

Adam and Steve After All

This post stands as a warning about never making a generalization.  In my last post, commenting on how salt and pepper shakers represent the gender of the characters they represent, I suggested that  “once gender has been signified . . . then it is always, as far as I can tell, one shaker of oneContinue reading “Adam and Steve After All”

And Now for Something Incompletely Different

These set appears to offer yet another set of racial stereotypes–but not, this time, aboriginal ones:The pitch-black skins, the big round eyes, the thick lips, the overall roundish dehumanizing cuteness–these are, it seems, a version of the standard classical caricature of people of African descent.  Much like the one in this old advertisement:Or like the traditionalContinue reading “And Now for Something Incompletely Different”

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”