Monday, January 9, 2012


At the end of last semester, a plea for help went out from Josh Goldstein, one of our colleagues in History:
I am teaching a course next semester on the history (and present) of waste (HIST 441) and the USCDornsife packets that college faculty all received yesterday seem like a great object lesson to kick off my semester.  If you have not already disposed of yours and would like to, could you please leave whatever part of the packet you would otherwise throw away in front of my office?  I come in daily and hope to have a large collection by next week.  My office is in SOS, second floor, SOS 260.

I am also willing to pick up packets from departments if you collect a few but find crossing campus a bit too much trouble.
Aimee Bender, in our department, was good enough to place a couple of cardboard boxes outside her door to facilitate collection: I was terrifically happy to place my contribution within it.  Context: our College was Named last year, thanks to a very, very generous gift.  And I'm very happy to celebrate and thank the Dornsifes in all kinds of suitable ways, and, indeed, to make sure that the College's New Name gets out there - I think I've remembered to put it on my email signature, and so on.  And when I get round to ordering some business cards - or rather, when I decide if I ought to have ones that place me in Art History, or English, or both (oh, complexity), I'll make sure that they say Dornsife loud and clear - just like the helpful booklet that was included in this package, encased in mock leather like an upmarket hotel room directory and menu, directs me to do.  And of course I'm always happy with a new pen.  But.  Honestly.  What dreadful piece of gratuitous conspicuous consumption is this tacky plastic car number plate surround?  I am going to look at the cars in the car park in seven weeks time, and see if I need more than one hand to count the number that are proudly sporting what I'm quite sure much have provided a tiny boost to the corner of the Chinese economy, and must have added a whole lot more liters of toxic fumes into their polluted air.  Of course, having donated this as Waste, I can't now double check the place of manufacture.  But even if it had been handcrafted from recycled telephone directories in Detroit (which it manifestly isn't), is this really necessary?  Indeed, not.  Indeed, it's embarrassing.

1 comment:

  1. This seemed apropos: