Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Memories are made of this

Last stop on our trip down Memory game lane: This 1968 Milton-Bradley version is the best I've encountered since it's basically a Midcentury Illustration's Greatest Hits, featuring work by Alice and Martin Provensen, Roger Duvoisin, Mary Blair, Eric Carle and of course, our beloved Eames House of Cards. How did all this great stuff end up in one game exactly? I dunno, but the box says "under license to Otto Maier Verlag, Ravensburger, Germany." Ravensburger is the German game and puzzle company founded by Otto back in the 19th century, and obviously the Germans know (and create) good design so somehow it must all be owing to their genius. So to them, I say, "Thanks!" And also to the members of the Bain family (the name scrawled on the box in a couple of places)—I bought this for two bucks at his/her/their estate sale and I've cherished it ever since.

One of the subjects/themes of this blog (apart from the overarching theme of I-am-cray-cray-and-need-to-stop-buying-so-much-stuff) is...why do we like what we like? Why do we buy what we buy? Aesthetically speaking, what attracts us to an object? I'm not given to philosophizing; I was an English major and, I'm not speaking for all English majors here, but personally I'm not capable of deep abstract thoughts. I once attempted to take a class on the philosophy of aesthetics but dropped out after the first week on the grounds that I did not understand a single word that the professor said. ’Twas definitely a roadblock to learning. Anyway, why do you like to look at what you look at? What makes it pleasing to your eye? I find it hard to divorce aesthetic appreciation from nostalgia. I like it because I've always liked it. I like it because I grew up with it. I like it because I remember it. I like it because it reminds me of another time and place that's still somehow this time and place cuz it lives on in my memory. Memory mixed with desire. Wasn't that T.S. Eliot? Okay, sorry, I'm going off the rails—deep thoughts, watch out!—but then again, maybe not. After all, "mixing memory and desire"—isn't that what the best purveyors of vintage do?

Dean Martin - Memories Are Made Of This by beautifulcynic

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