Yuri Gagarin’s Pesach KonMari

35 thoughts on “Yuri Gagarin’s Pesach KonMari”

    1. I really enjoyed the Jordon Peterson video and his explanation of why he collects Soviet era art. Thanks for the link.

      Personally I think our generation (Gen X) sees Communism as a failed system that no longer has legitimacy or real force in the world so we don’t fear it like earlier generations.

      Perhaps the reason I don’t find capitalist propaganda kitschy is that it still has potency and retains has the possibility of going pear shaped and ending badly. I look at Brexit, the Yellow Vests, and Trump as signs of popular rebellion against wobbly institutions that aren’t working well – and we don’t have a coherent vision of how to rebalance things. That’s just not funny.

    1. You could argue that Lenin is age and era appropriate for a house built precisely during the Russian Revolution in 1917. He’ll match the wall paper…

  1. For some people, you may have to make the joke more obvious, but at the risk of going right past obvious and offending everyone.

    I think Lenin would look great in a MAGA hat.

  2. I suspect kitsch and camp are like irony (and certain wines, liquors, and cuisines), in that for most people the capacity to appreciate them must be developed.

      1. Hofmelker’s (sp?) People featured a cartoon of Maggie gripping a huge sack of balls, in a 1989s issue of Playboy. That would be something to find.

          1. Johnny, are you able to see my email address with this reply? I have a small gift for you re Margaret Thatcher, authentic from England 1980s can you let me know a mailing address to send it?

  3. One of your better installments. (And even your average ones are better than most….=)

    For the life of me, I don’t understand how KonMari enjoys longevity. I mean, the advice is good – but could be summarized on a 3×5 index card, for those of you old enough to remember what THOSE were. On the other hand, the same could be said of Stephen Covey. LOL

    I worry for Millenials. Those on the other side of the political aisle as your friend can be just as dense.

    I had this poster in my Isla Vista apartment (it was pretty much de rigueur in Isla Vista apartments at the time) despite the actual event having been some eight years prior. It didn’t mean I was in favor of burning banks.

    1. Agree 100% Johnny. Kon Mari is the “new”way to live as my Grandparents did. They lived simply out of necessity though. Perhaps Kon Mari is a foreshadowing of a future millennials and those born after them will be forced to live. Good preparation for a much less excessive lifestyle down the road.

  4. Always enjoy your posts and learn something new, even if it’s just to look at things from a different perspective. Love the spring clean – hope you’ll continue to share your journey and thus inspire me to get on to doing ours. I went through the whole house a few years ago in preparation for a move that didn’t transpire and have noticed a few things creeping back in. All in favour of a year’s supply of goods, if nothing else I always have lots on hand to donate at the yearly food bank drives. Also I look at it as bargaining chips, if things get tough you might want to trade a tube of toothpaste or a roll of toilet paper for a bag of chocolate chips I have in store.

  5. Sadly, I’ve noticed a lot of Millenials–from both sides of the aisle, so to speak–tend to not understand kitsch (or history). Too much focus on politics and virtue signaling in our society, unfortunately. Great clean-up though. I just might have to go through my house and do the same!

    1. Yes. Some things looked upon as campy or kitschy (and humorous) by those of us over 40 might be viewed as impolitic or impermissibly something-ist by younger “woke” folk who are so damned earnest and serious about everything.

      1. Not so sure just Millenials. I’ve noticed the last 25 years or so a lot of brilliant parody, satire and irony fall flat, or cause high dudgeon due to literal (mis)interpretation. Even inability to grasp metaphor, incredibly enough, something Joseph Campbell noted. Sometimes I wonder if we should require classes in humor to build up that funny muscle.

  6. I second the toothpaste observation altho I’ll note it has other uses such as headlight lens rejuvenation and piano key whitening. See the goog for hundreds more!

  7. “I’m amoral…”
    “My scruples were removed…”

    Based on your other writings I don’t think this is the case and it’s a little disturbing to read even if a cute figure of speech, sorry Johnny.

    The interior deco is awesome and fun, but I think you ought to spend some cash on network security!

  8. I love your blog, I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I thought your series on Memphis was one of the best things I’ve seen in ages. Your apt. is an inspiration. I did this a few years ago when her book first came out; I need to do it again.

    I respect your practice of storing a year’s worth of pantry items, although I don’t share it. But man, that is a LOT of toothpaste! I think I use a tube & a half in a year. You ARE well prepared. 🙂

    I think with kitsch and camp if you don’t get it, all the explaining in the world isn’t going to help. I had a Mao watch they sold at the SF Asian Art Museum (it was Chinese street goods) but it didn’t translate back here on the East Coast where I live. It fell apart after 6 months or so anyway so I was saved the task of explaining that “no, I’m not a Maoist”.

    1. Are you assuming every box is full of toothpaste? Each box has different things – Q-tips, shampoo… Is this excessive? These items don’t really go bad – at least not for a really long time. I do eventually use it all. Quick background..

      One of the ways I was able to travel when I was young and a lot poorer was to get cheap flights to places that were in experiencing a financial crisis. Thailand and neighboring countries in 1997, Latin America during it’s various crashes, Russia just after the fall of the Soviet Union…

      What happens to the population? There’s a sharp rise in unemployment, an equally hard drop in government support (austerity,) unusually high cost of imported goods, and spot shortages of select products. Basically, ordinary people have trouble paying their bills and securing the everyday things they need.

      Under those circumstances I see my one year stash of soap and toothpaste as too little given the length of time these crises tend to last. I know people who are still suffering the economic effects of the 2008 crash. And if it’s all sunshine and roses forever I haven’t lost anything by having this stuff on hand because I use and rotate the stock anyway.

    1. I’ve gone on cleaning sprees over the years, but I’ve learned to be cautious. I can’t remember how many times I’ve thrown out an old book, an old CD, an old item of clothing or some old gizmo and then had to go find a replacement for it a few years later. Once re-bought, the replacement stays forever.

          1. My post hole digger doesn’t spark joy, but I don’t get rid of it because it is very useful every time I plant a tree or bush in our heavy clay soil.

            My test is “have I used/worn this in the past X time”, where tools get a longer pass and apparel a shorter time.

            My parents’ Depression lessons lead me to keep some things merely because they are useful AND I am likely to use them: old t-shirts and towels = shop rags; wood scrap bins = lifesavers in the midst of a project that calls for a small cutoff block or cross-brace.

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