Thursday, December 22, 2005

Eyes of the Consumer Soul

I have two more pictures of windows from Fortnum & Mason. I love that they go to all this trouble and expense just to show off a few bottles of jam or whatever, when you really don't even see the product they are trying to highlight. I remember the Christmas windows in The Crescent in Spokane when I was a kid -- it was a huge deal to go down and see these windows at Christmas -- the train and the moving elves and all the velvet and fake snow, etc. I know it was a small version of what went on in larger cities. In Seattle, they have one at the new Macy's (used to be Frederick & Nelson, used to be the Bon Marche, used to be "The Bon") where the kids have to touch a pad on the outside of the window to make the train move. Not sure I like this idea -- they probably save energey that way, instead of having the thing move all the time. I suppose it empowers the kid in some way, but I liked the idea that it moved by itself -- it was a true, tiny fantasy world that I could only watch. This reminds me of a GREAT book called On Longing by the poet Susan Stewart. I think the subtitle is something like Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection and it talks about how comforting the miniature is to us as children (a la Barthes), giving them power over a little world. Perhaps that is why we like animals, and little animals at that...the fantasy of control over something. These windows just seem so frivolous. I love that.


Blogger GrrlScientist said...

I think this was all about empowerment, and allowing kids to think they had some control over a tiny part of the world outside of themselves (as if they had control over anyuthing at all, really).

Anway, welcome to the blogosphere! You know you have arrived when you are tagged with a meme.


3:06 AM  
Blogger dr. fluffy jones said...


Thanks for the welcome! Listing me as one of your seven was very sweet. Looks like two of us have given into the temptation! I thought of you today, because there was a bird call coming from the big fir on the P-Patch, and I wished you were here to tell me what it was. Seemed out of place, what with all the crows quacking away...almost springlike! too-a-twee-twee!

9:01 AM  
Blogger dr. fluffy jones said...

Oh, I guess it was three of us! Can't wait to see that line through my name, hedwig!

9:03 AM  

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