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Weekend Assignment: Our Anachronisms

June 8, 2010

This week’s Weekend Assignment asks:

“We sometimes hear the expression, “XXX has gone the way of the buggy whip.” In other words, technology and society have moved on, and something that was once commonplace barely exists anymore because it’s no longer needed. Do you still have something in your home that has become essentially useless? If so, why do you still have it? If not, when did you get rid of it?

The answer: probably, but I’ve wracked my brain and I can’t think of any useful or interesting examples that are worth reading about.

Which, sadly, means that’s this week’s Weekend Assignment is a bust for me.

On the other hand, I’d love to clutter up my home with all sorts of decorative anachronisms. The problem, though, is that our house is a tad too small to house myself and Dear Wife as well as Baby B.T. and our dear doggy Shasta. Dear Wife makes it a solid business to try to keep our home and life decluttered – which does not mean that clutter does not accumulate, but we make periodic sweeps to try to keep things tidy. Having B.T. around has meant sometimes things aren’t as tidy as we’d like, but that’s the norm when you have a wee bairn in the home.

So… what sort of anachronistic thing would I most dearly like to have in the home, were there room for the clutter (and room in the budget): swords. I’m a total geek, and I’d love to hang a sword or two on the wall of my private man-room or private office (neither of which exists, at the moment). Maybe even a shield or coat-of-arms. I’m just that kind of geek.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2010 1:00 pm

    Our apartment is a tiny thing so there’s no room to hoard. One could gamble that paper books may be the next thing to go the way of the buggy whip. It will be interesting to see if e-books take over the book market, and how much longer the paper book format will exist as the largest market share.

    But that doesn’t really answer your question. If I had the space, and money to burn, I’d love some antique swords – on display in my floor to ceiling library of books, of course. hehe.

    • June 8, 2010 1:08 pm

      I considered answering the question by talking about paper books, but decided that it wasn’t in the spirit of the question – and since I’m hoping for real paper books to win out in the long run (or at least to maintain a viable and large market niche alongside e-books), I didn’t think it was in my best interests to posit such a future, anyway.

      But I love your vision of antique swords decorating a large library. I’ve had the same vision since I was a kid!

    • June 8, 2010 1:23 pm

      I think it would be extraordinarily depressing if paper books died. 😦 😦 I love the feel of them, and the idea of not being radiated by a tablet (I’m the kind of person that can spend an entire hour in the same position reading the same book). I’m not a big fan of e-books. I think they’re rather unspiffy.

      Swords as decorations would be awesome!


      • June 8, 2010 1:35 pm

        I believe you to be wholly correct on all counts.

        Real paper books are, as far as I’m concerned, the superior form for reading enjoyment, and always will be. E-books have their advantages, but the idea of curling up with a machine just doesn’t hold the same appeal. Nor, for that matter, can you line up hundreds or thousands of e-books together in a glorious bibliophilic display! I love seeing books lined up on a bookshelf, tantalazing with the promise of the words they contain…

      • June 8, 2010 2:30 pm

        It will be a sad day if there are no more real books. I love the feel of paper, even the smell of it. I don’t want paper books to ever go away. There’s something about reading on a screen that destroys my concentration. It’s not the same experience.

      • June 8, 2010 2:36 pm


      • June 8, 2010 2:36 pm

        It might kill one’s eyes too. THAT would be an ironic side-effect.

        But Stephen, you could just have a big glass computer screen on your wall with all your titles digitally lined up on it! *Awkward salesman grin* Yah, I agree. That’d be a pretty lame “Bookshelf.”

      • June 8, 2010 2:38 pm

        There’s something unsatisfyingly fake about that idea… 😛

      • June 8, 2010 4:02 pm

        Not to drag this out too long, but I just read a fascinating post that goes along this thread…

      • June 8, 2010 8:21 pm

        Thanks for the link! I’ll have to give that a read soon.

  2. June 9, 2010 5:03 am

    we do have a fair old collection of swords and axes but lack the wall space to display them as there are too many bookcases…
    The only one on permanent display is the gurkha knife.
    the oriental ones are in use as my husband does a number of martial arts including the sword forms of tai chi and kung fu. Thankfully our garden is not overlooked by neighbours easily panicked by the sight of himself wielding a hefty weapon in the early morning, though previous neighbours might have done….
    And much of the wall space not covered by books is covered by drums..and that’s another story altogether….

  3. June 10, 2010 2:50 am

    Fair enough. A sword would be cool!

  4. June 11, 2010 3:43 pm

    Sounds kinda cool. But I think if you wanted to go for geeky, it’d have to be lightsabers.

    • June 11, 2010 3:49 pm

      Don’t tempt me!

      You know how much those very sweet authentic replica lightsabers cost?

      Well more than you can imagine!*

      (Also… is not “authentic replica” an oxymoron?)

      *Did you see what I did there?

  5. June 11, 2010 6:08 pm

    Swords? Hmm, do you have a cool brick fireplace to put them ovber. I think that is the best way to display them. 🙂

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