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 Post subject: They're Soft and Cuddly, So Why Lash Them to a Truck?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
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Interviews with half a dozen truckers as well as folklorists, art historians and anthropologists revealed the grille-mounted plush toy to be a product of a tangle of physical circumstance, proximate and indirect influence, ethnic tradition, occupational mindset and Jungian archetype.

Like all adornments, of course, the grille pet advertises something about its owner. The very act of decorating a truck indicates an openness on the driver's part, according to Dan DiVittorio, owner of D & N Services, a carting company in Queens, and of a garbage truck with a squishy red skull on the front.


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/13/nyregion/13stuffed.html?hp&ex=1131944400&en=79ca47853b5dae76&ei=5094&partner=homepage

What interests me most is that the NYC Department of Sanitation has an Artist-in-Residence.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
An interesting read, but once we got to:

Quote:
...abject trope..."An important aspect of the abject is the informe, the lack of boundaries," he said, using the French critical theory term....


I went back to Occam's Razor - these guys like decorating their vehicles.

I remembered my trip to Malta, where the wonderful old buses with rock hard suspension are highly decorated with religious symbolism on and around the dashboard. I tried to find some images on the web, but in the 100's of examples on Google, not one is of this interior decoration; the Anglo-Saxon bus-spotters who take the photos are only interested in the exteriors of the buses: make and model number etc. A classic example of a cultural phenomenon and the observers reinterpreting it according to their own paradigm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 207
Location: Lighting Heaven
If buses in Malta are anything like buses in New York, I'd decorate them with every religious symbol I could find...at least before riding them.

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"A man's speech must exceed his vocabulary, or what's a metaphor?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
I went back to Occam's Razor - these guys like decorating their vehicles.


Well, some people are overly academic and will analyze art -- and this is art, albeit unconventional art -- to death.

What I find interesting is the implied snobbery; if a dancer or a lighting designer (or a banker or a lawyer) were to do the same thing, it would draw little comment, if any, but since the people involved drive trucks -- and garbage trucks, at that -- they are presumed to be without art.


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