Won’t continue to worry the “digital ascension” since digital zombies don’t care. But, old man Ure know what the phone-zombies really like is money and toys.
And, it’s getting to be the time of year when those “feelings of love” are totally worked-over to get the largest payday come the end of December.
I’m not sure when the excess commercialization of Christmas began. Maybe it was the Sear Toy Catalog. Most people don’t know that the original Sears Wish Book came out in 1934, having been printed in 1933. Came out early in the fall and had a good run.
Sears’ idea, back during the Great Depression, was to give the kids (and grown-ups) lots of time to either “work the grown-ups” or save for the year’s Big Present before The Big Day. Gee, some things never change, do they? That’s why the originals showed up in the late August to early September period. I remember the joy of finding the book in the mail.
Sears’ Wish Book ran until 1993. Hard times had fallen on the mega-retailer of an earlier era, by then. Online retailers, including “the Zon” had popped into the lead. Younger, smaller, more agile kicks it every time.
We’re both pleased and sad that Amazon has brought back something of a “Wish Book” spin. It’s almost, as we’ve pointed out many times before, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon is bent on recreating at least some of the central role Sears played in earlier America. Doing a fine job of it, too.
My Amazon “Play Together” book arrived yesterday. Complete with an “Ultimate Wishlist.” High production values and the old Wish Book vibe, but it’s a far-cry from the original from a 70-year old perspective. Much to be learned from it, too.
The Amazon reincarnation doesn’t have a chemistry set in it. Nor, did I notice much at all in the way of STEM-oriented materials. This book is almost entirely pre-K oriented. It looks more like a book oriented toward new parents, and sucker grandparents like us, as much as anything.
If my memory hasn’t completely checked-out (possible), the original Wish Book had multiple sections to it: There was a “for Mom” which featured the latest in fashion and lingerie. For Dad had all kinds of dandy vices (if the lingerie wasn’t enough). Hunting, fishing, all under attack today.
There were assorted pipe tobaccos of varied flavors like cherry, or the hunter’s favorite vanilla. Poker chip sets. Drink flasks and glassware…chess and checkers? You bet! American families did things back then. Nowadays? Total UHD click cluster.
Not that I can’t appreciate Amazon’s problem: They swim in shark-infested retailing waters. If they were to have a “whole family” mix of offerings, sections like “for Mom” and another “for Dad” plus “for teens” and then the wee-ones, it would ruffle the feathers of at least half a dozen “alphabet groups” Like LBGTQR and wherever that goes.
Even if they could sort through the boardroom issues with age and gender leanings, other problems arise. We see where a wider demographic book would hit the wall, though. It’s OK to promote non-straight but not simple “straight.” Because gender is a monetization. As we’ve pointed out, genderism is like computers. Basic hard OS is “inny and outty” but the softweare programming continues well into the teens. Thanks, school systems!
Wish Book issues in Today Land? OMG! Instead of lingerie, for example, any publisher would be strong-armed into included gayerie and there goes the homogenous marketing. Which, we suspect drove the Amazonians to the “Play Together” book title. With no adult products and arguably nothing over age 8.
The problem with Amazon’s book is that it doesn’t have old Wish Book social conveyor built in.
Let’s open up an old 1950’s Wish Book and I’ll show you what I mean:
As a child – the wee-est of ones – things like a stuffed bear or a cap gun (in order to play Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers) was a prevailing social norm.
Today, the Cowboys are in football, the Indians are in Cleveland, a place we’ve always had reservations about. As for the Cops ? Well, they’re under attack nationally while the robbers have expanded into meth. Say, that’s some social progress we’re making, ain’t it?
Back to point: After a few years of “little twerp crap” the period from mid September to The Big Day began to move kids up thed social conveyor. For me, after a bear, then a year of Tinker-Toys, Lionel trains became the biggy.. It wasn’t two years later that I awoke (at 6 AM) to the sound of Pappy and a couple of uncles making noise in the basement. Overnight, a huge (when you’re 7 or 8, right?) .027 Lionel train layout had appeared.
It wasn’t till that afternoon I took the controls. Pappy and the uncles had sandwiches and coffee and were intent on filling out their childhood dreams. Pappy carried about 200 papers a day in the early part of the Great Depression. Toy trains were for store windows downtown.
No small feat, this layout was about 8 by 12. In order to get into the center of the layout, where the controls were, you crawled under the table and popped up in the middle. Power had been brought out, holes drilled for power for a couple of switches, and within a year, Mom had helped me through a first feeble attempt at a paper mache mountain with tunnel.
Those early lessons were great – so was the imprinting with model trains. By the time I was 30-something, the back 10 feet of my garage had been turned into a 10-by-20 HO layout. The impossible paper mache was replaced with quick-set plaster over hardware screen…
Your tracking, right?
Other items for the modern “Wish Book” clone – unthinkable these days included sporting goods. My buddy, the Major’s, late brother looked knowingly at BB guns, and the selected shotguns and smaller calibers for the sportsman. He’d later become an accomplished reloader. Oh, sure, reloading kits were in The Wish Book, too, at one point. Can you imagine the demonstrations has Amazon put reloading and gayerie under the same cover? Why that would be real diversity and we can’t have that, can we?
It’s one thing to talk about a national “coming together and mutual respect” but I don’t think anyone’s really serious about, do you?
What youngster didn’t pause at the lingerie section? “That don’t look very warm, or comfortable…” Was that a precursor to Playboy? We’ll never know.
Ah, the joys of the real-deal “Wish Book.” Not just watered down, kiddie crap. There was something for everyone. Money from all!
Can you imagine the hoot and hollering if a toy gun was shown in a modern Wish Book?
No, we’ve lost something as a country. Christmas, for one.
The old American Middle has been deliberately hollowed-out. It’s all about segmentation and monetization, a marketing sham, and globalism’s socialists are hard at work as ever. Even as we speak, in turning America into another digital mob shit-hole like Venezuela. Care to bet things won’t get back to normal in Chile, now, either?
On the one hand, it’s surprising that Amazon came out with a book at all this year. The kids can’t read, so it’s really for the adults. And mostly straight because of how kids are made…but that’s just a guess and first-hand experience. Family-making? Last time I looked, that was in the “growing scarcity mode.” Unless you’re illegal or lazy.
Our prevailing alt. reality has turned us into half-baked, warmed over, consensus-bounded shells. But Amazon’s retooled Wish Book is a hopeful sign. Now if they’d just put in pipe racks, sporting goods and more neato-stuff….
Yeah…I know. You gotta go and so do I.
Write when you get rich, and check the chimney for a fireplace insert.