Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama Commemorative Plates

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So there I am watching CNN when this ad pops up my television.  This is pure capitalism in action...A Barack Obama commemorative plate, of which you are only allowed to purchase two by the way.

How will the average person be able to restrict themselves to only two plates?  This of course is not some ploy to somehow make this tacky representation seem more valuable than it is.  How could anyone not want a piece of history? This is not as bad as the pocket fisherman, but it certainly is not much better.

Daily Americans are getting pink slips, houses are being foreclosed on but you need this plate as a symbol of faith and hope.  I don't know about you but 19.99 buys a package of diapers, or 3 bags of milk for my kids, or the equivalent of two diners for my family.  I know the value of 19.99.

One message that Obama made clear is that people are going to have to start thinking about money differently, and I think that using his image to promote a clearly ridiculous product is counter to his message.  Now is the time for fiscal austerity.  Having a pretty Obama chachsky on your wall may be nice, but in the grand scheme of things if you voted for him you have already participated in a historic moment.  No cheap plate hanging on your wall is necessary to prove your commitment to his message of change.

I would like to see an end to this exploitative products that prey upon American over attachment to country and nationalism.  Many may accuse Canadians of not having national pride because we do not have the big displays that Americans do; however for us national pride is about action and not display. If you know in your heart that you love your country you have no need of a gratuitous display to prove it to the world.

I do have one other query about these tacky commemorative items, were they made in the U.S.A ? I have done some research and still have not been able to find out. Just imagine  if the symbol of  patriotism was made in Taiwan, just like so many cheap products of this kind?


21 comments:

matttbastard said...

Alas, I only have enough cash to invest in one commemorative collection.

Pseudo-Adrienne said...

The Daily Show's Lewis Black had a great Back in Black segment, where he ridiculed all of this consumerist bastardization of an historical moment. "Whee! Shiney, plastic crap! Spend! Spend! Spend, and to hell with my dire economic situation, because the only way I can be a *true* patriotic American is if I buy all of this crap!" Ugh, it's embarrassing but those are my fellow Yanks for yah.

bL-AKtivist said...

You were so serious when you said you'd blog about this! LMAO

And frankly, you nailed it on the head when you pointed out the facade of nationalism. Here nationalism is about what people see more than it is about what people do. It's deplorable.

19.99 is just about a weeks worth of commuter money to and from work.

Rj said...

On Nov 5, I couldn't get a Washington Post to save my life. Not in DC, MD, or VA. I wrote a letter of complaint, saying that the Post should have printed more because everyone deserved to have a piece of this--especially in that now the entire DMV area is BLUE, and also full of PoCs. The Post referred me to their website saying I could buy the full page commemorative edition. I think the price was $59. I was like, FUCK THAT, I voted, I'll commemorate on that. Plus I have the internet copy...

Then I heard San Francisco, Miami, and ATL had the same problems. And that people were starting to put copies on E-Bay. FUCK THAT, too!

Anyway, two days later, the Post magically had bulk copies...everywhere.

God Bless America.

Anonymous said...

If I collected plates (which are relatively inexpensive and can actually be used in addition to their decorative nature), maybe I would be proud to have one with an Obama picture displayed in my house. It's great to have a president-elect that we can be proud of and we may have a flashback to the days when many ordinary people would put up a portrait of the president in their homes.

whatsername said...

omfg I thought those were a joke...

AR said...

I don't know about you but 19.99 buys a package of diapers, or 3 bags of milk for my kids, or the equivalent of two diners for my family. I know the value of 19.99.

I seriously doubt that $20 is worth that much to you. If it were, the implication would be that if you suddenly had an extra $20 you'd spend it on diapers and food, or that if you lost $20, that would be what you'd sacrifice. Since no one would spend so much time writing for free while their family was hungry, or so close to it, your marginal valuation of $20 must be much, much lower, though obviously not yet less than your marginal valuation of commemorative plates.

Renee said...

@AR please refrain from speculating on my personal life.

AR said...

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Ms. Feasance said...

What's scary is if you look on the back, it still says 27 electoral college votes are unallocated.

They couldn't even wait for the electoral college to MEET?

Renee said...

@AR
I seriously doubt that $20 is worth that much to you. If it were, the implication would be that if you suddenly had an extra $20 you'd spend it on diapers and food, or that if you lost $20, that would be what you'd sacrifice. Since no one would spend so much time writing for free while their family was hungry, or so close to it, your marginal valuation of $20 must be much, much lower

You are assuming knowledge of my finances that you do not have.

AR said...

I am assuming that they are not so bad that your family is malnourished, or just a few dollars away from being so, but I stand by that assumption as entirely reasonable given what you've made known about yourself.

Renee said...

@AR you may make whatever summation you chose, what I am saying is at no time ever is my family open for commentary. Negative or neutral, it is a no go zone with me, especially if it is being employed to prove a point not matter what the subject matter. It is one of the rules I listed for the blog a while ago.

AR said...

That is a reasonable rule, but my own reference to them is no more personal than your own. "...or 3 bags of milk for my kids, or the equivalent of two diners for my family."

Unless you were referring to rhetorical kids? If that's the case, I apologize for that having so completely gone over my head.

To generalize the point, I'm saying that both the value and cost of some amount of money can only be determined on a person's margin. That same $20 could as well be worth a trivial knick-knack like this, or a person's very life, depending on the person's circumstances.

Kevin Andre Elliott said...

The profiteering off of this election is sick.

@RJ I don't know about other papers, but on 5 Nov., there were copies of the NYT going for anywhere from $100 to $600 on eBay. It's ridiculous and sad that the first thing on folks minds after the election was how they could profit off of it.

Rj said...

Kevin,

I had heard that they were starting at $100 on Ebay, but $600???? Damn! is history that important? I did get my paper though. $1.50. And now I can spend the rest, $18.50 (LOL), on 2 pizzas and an order of cheesy bread...or a 1/2 tank of gas. WHOOPEE!!!

fan said...

If you don't want it then don't buy it. However, some people enjoy to be able to display what they like to do. I know I buy collectibles that I display and if someone collected plates this would be great for them. Of course they could buy something else with it, but they chose not to for whatever reason they wished for. I do not want to tell others what to and not to buy. That is their prerogative.

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