More colonial craft

Regional Assembly of Text

Once you start seeing something, it’s suddenly everywhere  (and it doesn’t help that people keep sending me examples). After noticing that we seem culturally obsessed with our colonial settlement of this city/province/country/continent right now, and that this pioneer DIY craft style has spread as far afield as Brisbane and Berlin, based on what people have written me, I feel compelled to keep collecting it. But I promise this will all stop soon.

The business stamp above was on the back of a card sent to me this week. Granted this crest is an interesting update of the colonial thing in that it includes the figures of two women. Women are generally missing from this trope, especially if they’re wearing pants (yes, for those of you who are English, I mean trousers). Also I like this company, Regional Assembly of Text; they were around before this whole thing got really commodified and annoying. They’re real and viable.

Still, all this dedicated emphasis on craft almost starts to feel like a political stance, and we need to start recognizing that for a craft economy to have any social benefit, it has to be something other than a high-end dead end. It’s all so pricey, and in a town with a median income on a level with Windsor (that’s Canada’s Detroit). It’s playing to the rich in an increasingly unaffordable town plagued with an increasingly fake economy based on real estate speculation and drugs. So yeah, the wild west all over again.

PS This article from the Vancouver Courier, a list of 4 things Vancouver should regulate the hell out of, offers this:

3. The word “craft”

Yes, Vancouver is in the midst of a craft brewery renaissance and we couldn’t be happier or chubbier about it. But the word craft has become so overused by bars, restaurants and condo developments, that it’s lost all meaning. So no more. Instead of the word craft, businesses can only use the words “bespoke,” “discerning,” “organically fetishized,” “projected notions of authenticity” or “evoking the musky image of a saloon, barbershop, leather tannery or dry goods store during the Gold Rush or Prohibition.”

 Can we have a new idea soon?


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