In the context of discussing with my students the disposability of most media content, I’d offer an example where the exception proves the rule. Following the nuclear holocaust, I would assert, two things will persist: “National Geographic” magazines and Keith Richards.
On reflection, a third and a fourth item must be added.
When was the last time you bought a pen?
BOUGHT a pen. Not picked one up from the hotel you stayed at and then took it home with you. Not the one you brought home from work.
Paid cash money, as we used to say, for a writing instrument.
I can’t recall the last time I did this. Maybe back when I was in college, though I doubt it was even that recent.
Pens are like coffee mugs.
I’m reasonably certain we already have enough of each. So enough, already.
If one pays more than ten cents for a coffee mug at a garage sale, then one has paid too much.
Seemingly, we have a never-ending supply. Coffee mugs are like – no, they are worse than – weeds.
In fact, according to my calculations, if every single one of us were to break a coffee mug every single day, in 100 years we’d still have more than enough coffee mugs to go around. And I’ve factored into my calculations population growth.
Plus, in 100 years coffee will probably be illegal. By then someone will have come to the stunning conclusion that caffeine tends to give some people the jitters and, for others, hinders their sleep.
(This just in: boxing sometimes results in a concussion.)
I’m guessing the pen manufacturing plants can be closed down right now. They’ve already made enough to last all of our lifetimes, our children’s lifetimes and after that, no one will care.
Plus, by the time we physically run out of pens, something else will have been invented to make pens obsolete.
What? Computers? And there I was in my eighth grade typing class thinking: now here’s a skill I will never have a need for.