Monday, 6 February 2017




For my last entry in Collections Corner, I wrote about the cool, niche exhibitions that routinely pop up on campus. This was partly inspired by my own experiences, and also intended as an update/alternative perspective to Natania Sherman's take on the subject that she wrote about last summer.

For this Greatest Hits entry, I want to take those ideas about individual, eccentric collections and broaden the scope... and I mean really broaden it. Just a little less than a year ago Jennifer Maxwell wrote an entry for Collections Corner called "The Apocalyptic Collection,"  which blended commentary about our pop culture preoccupation with the apocalypse with a survey of which items people would choose to save should the unthinkable happen. The answers varied from silly and fun, like the original script for Star Wars, to items of immense historical importance like the Magna Carta, back to our pop culture fixations like a vinyl album of The Eagles' Greatest Hits. It was a fun and sassy article.

Just a year later, discussions of the apocalypse have taken a considerably darker tone. Nuanced and complex issues are being spoon-fed to us as black and white, and many people are feeling less like this:

and more like this:

Personally, I'm more middle of the road, in that I think the general ugliness and bullying that is happening everywhere has always been there. I can't say whether or not it is actually worse now or if it's just more publicly acceptable to express aggression and hate. Either way, millions of people have already had their world fall apart around them, and many were not lucky enough to choose which treasured item to take with them into the uncertain future. 

With that sobering thought, I have a question: Which items in our homes do we truly care about? If we strip away amusing hypothetical scenarios like "Desert Island" or "Zombie Apocalypse," what would we actually grab if there were, say, a fire? If your loved ones were safe, and you could pick any item to be magically transported to safety, unharmed, would it be practical? Sentimental? A mixture of both or neither? 

I ask these questions because I think regardless of the political or social climate, it's never a wasted exercise to evaluate what is most important to us. Outside of the realm of material culture, we need to know what we want, what is worth saving, and what we would gladly jettison if given the opportunity. Being able to articulate those things is perhaps the most practical apocalyptic tool of all. 

For now, don't let the misguided and the charlatans of the world bring you down. See it for the absurdity that it is:

V-Day approaches... stay safe.

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