Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wooden Boxes & The West Wing Soothe Me

I was going to write today about the handsome polished wooden boxes we got in yesterday, made from glowing exotic woods by a couple in Oregon who have been woodworkers since 1969. They are ideal "guy gifts," a category our customers have been asking for, since not everyone wears cufflinks. (We have marvelous cufflinks.) But we forgot the digital camera at home, and so we'll have to wait a few days before we post about the boxes.

Instead, I'd like to share with you a cool short commentary by Thomas de Zengotita in the L.A. Times about what he dubs the "How Great Men Once Managed Great Events" genre. From recent biographies of John Adams to the TV show The West Wing, this genre has grown robustly in the last few years, de Zengotita points out, in part because we are craving a sense of reassurance. I'll let the rest of the piece, titled "Powdered Wigs, Pinging Devices Soothe Me," speak for itself.

The reason I share it with you is because Jae and I have an overdeveloped appreciation for The West Wing, and I like any opportunity to talk about the show. We spent so many nights this winter on the couch watching Netflixed episodes in order, basking in the glow of the characters' fictionalized competence portrayed through snappy dialogue and artful lighting... Ahhh, the relief and pleasure it brings. And the excitement, too! It borders on, I'm gonna say it, porn. I can't believe the show is even legal. (Though, of course, it has recently been cancelled. Hmmm...)

De Zengotita is also a wonderfully conversational writer and keen observer of our mediated existence. In addition to the L.A. Times, he writes for the The Huffington Post. His book, Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It, is recently out in paperback (and has been mentioned in a previous post). Check him out -- he's got his finger on the pulse.

And check back in a couple days to see pictures of those beautiful wooden boxes that also bring great pleasure...
...but without all that pesky mediation.

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