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”

Scriptive Things

I n her recent book Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, Robin Bernstein offers an insightful and innovative analysis of the ways in which ideas about childhood, texts about and for children, and objects representing children and/or intended to be used in their play intersected with and were inflected by ideasContinue reading “Scriptive Things”

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?”

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”

Oppositional Curating

Looking for some ways of thinking about collections of objects of which one takes a less than purely sympathetic view–the one being me and the objects being my salt and pepper shakers–I came across “Racial Kitsch and Black Performance,” an insightful article by  Tavia Nyong’o (Yale Journal of Criticism 15.2 [Fall 2002]: 371-3910.  The “racialContinue reading “Oppositional Curating”

More on the Tyranny of Pairs

I’ve been thinking further about the tyranny of pairs in the world of shaker sets, which I discussed in my last post. It has occurred to me now that it’s the implied connection of the two disparate things in a pair that is, often, the source of the comedy or even the cuteness. A dogContinue reading “More on the Tyranny of Pairs”

The Tyranny of Pairs

Out on the street, you can find, as well as street signs, the occasional fire hydrant:And along with a fire hydrant, you will usually find . . . ?  A fireman, perhaps?  No.  A group of children getting a free drink on a hot summer day?  No.  What a fire hydrant goes with, of course,Continue reading “The Tyranny of Pairs”

Taking It to the Streets

We continue the go-with chain with what appears to be another pugnacious guy, all ready to return the blow being struck by the enraged data-entry fellow of the last post: But why, you might ask, if he has his dukes up and is all ready to fight, is he sitting on the ground?  The answerContinue reading “Taking It to the Streets”

One More Link in the Chain

Last time around, I looked at an old woman who was in a relationship with an old man.  The old man now goes with, of course, another old man: This one is sitting on a rocking chair, apparently asleep, and with an animal, probably a dog even though it has owl-like eyes, asleep on top ofContinue reading “One More Link in the Chain”