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Salon store

Welcome to the Salon Store -- a new Salon feature that we hope you will find engaging, entertaining and a useful extension of what Salon is all about.

The Store's mission: to offer a collection of products that reflect what always interests us at Salon -- startling creativity, soul-pleasing utility, interesting ideas, unique perspectives and sometimes just the profound wackiness of our culture.

Why do we think the interests of Salon and its audience translate into products? Because, in various ways, things matter to all of us. They make statements, they offer solutions, they express or create emotion. I think of Salon as a place -- a destination, a community -- that is defined chiefly by an evolving set of shared interests. So we think it will be fun, interesting and appropriate to identify products that reflect those interests and showcase them on Salon. And we are particularly interested in your feedback about the products we offer as well as others you think we should be offering. We'd like your participation not merely as purchasers but as curators along with us. (Richard Gingras, “Welcome to the Salon store,” Salon, 29 November 2009)

small question

if we buy small things from the salon store, and sip and chat drinking some starbucks' love brew, does this mean we get to have nothing to do with those kids being shot and killed in afghanistan, having their tuitions upped 30 percent, those poor suckers losing their houses, considering military employment, and bound to have their kids turn increasingly feral?

the goods look pretty good, actually, but it kinda feels like you're opening the door to further wall-street bonuses, evidence that despite it all, you really don't have to give a fuck this christmasy time of year.

Salon can feel rangey, but still be colorful and fun. You've put a neat bow on the site, which makes us all feel a little less like them, which isn't quite what our souls need.

Link: Welcome to the Salon store (Salon)

Amid the $1,000 (and $10,000) titanium-framed, fully suspended, on- and off-road competition bikes for sale around bike-obsessed San Francisco, I stumbled onto this. A custom Sting Ray chopper re-creation. All chrome. With spiral/twisted fork ... and high-density spoke wheel ... and a steering wheel ... and mufflers ... and a spare tire, to top it off, carried in the back, like my granddad's '35 Ford.

I called the phone number the next day. I found myself talking to a young guy -- a kid, the owner/builder. He lived in Richmond, an economically challenged city in the East Bay. At the end of my day at Salon, I drove across the Bay Bridge to have a look.

I drove up a street with no occupied houses, save for the one that was my destination. It was encircled by a high fence. There was a large dog in the yard. I honked the horn, walked up and met a Hispanic family. There were three kids playing in the yard and driveway, a well-kept house, and a garage full of projects with wheels. No English spoken here, save for the owner of the bike. Mom sat on the front stairs watching over everyone, friendly but guarded.

[. . .]

Two-hundred fifty dollars was a lot of money for a bike that had seen a pretty hard and well-used life, no matter how deeply it had been loved. The fork was loose; the wheel spokes had a patina of rust. But for a signpost, a memory of a hardworking family, doing their best against really bad odds? I paid him, and hoisted the bike into the back seat of my car. I asked if I could take their picture, and received an emphatic "no" from his protective mom. (Of course not -- what was I thinking?) The bike now sits in the courtyard of our little house in Marin.

[. . .]

But on the other hand: Products -- the right products, designed with passion, for the right reasons, made responsibly -- can be inspiring. They can be the embodiment of values and, indeed, of dreams. They can literally change people's lives, both those who produce them and those who consume them.

A product may distill the conviction of a young designer, studying art, wanting to make a difference. Or it may represent the deeply held beliefs of an engineer who has spent a lifetime studying a need and developing a theory. Or it may embody the witty, fun imaginings of an inventor who just wants to make people smile. Or it may hold the hopes of a 14-year-old kid who can make something of chrome that embodies his loves and passions, that gives him a reason to work toward his future.

[. . .]

The mission of the Salon Store is to find and showcase products that fit with Salon -- because they embody ideas. As a starting point, we embraced three key words: smart, funny and progressive. (John Pound, “Products that mean something,” Salon, 1 December 2009)

Clean slate

Is the hippie that sold out, now a redeemable aesthetic? Top-teer art school, clean, modern aesthetic -- this DNA injection is carrying Salon further into the celestial, away from all the accumulating rust, rage, breakenings.

And bike-builder -- American poor aren't yet Guatemala rural (and true!). You won't be fashionable for some time, and, as I've argued, you don't quite match the current aesthetic anyway: one brief tour to the discrepid, and now no more to the commons, and the disquiet.

Link: Products that mean something (Salon)

If we learn to talk to ghosts, maybe Jim Henson can summon us an army of muppets

He'll get health care, many of the (not in truth, all so) left "abandoning" him this instant will be back with him, and then as a very monstrous beast, they'll turn their many heads on the progressives who've outed themselves, loudly, out in the open, as anti-Obama, and strike.

They'll have Obama, FOX news, liberals, Palin, conservatives, CNN -- maybe NPR, and Salon store. Like Viggo, we progressives are in need of some more men.

Link: Yes, it’s Obama’s war now (Salon)


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