Thursday, January 27, 2005

Everyday Ingenuity

Recently watched The Triplets of Belleville. There's a theme in French cinema of glorifying a certain kind of quirky inventiveness that takes existing objects and turns them into something different and useful. It struck me we have a phrase here in the States - Yankee ingenuity - but it's not really our thing anymore. . . Why be ingenious when you could just go buy the latest gadget? We've lost touch with our "everyday ingenuity" accessible to everyone, in favor of a sort of "superstar ingenuity" of the chosen few.

Since I'm happiest when being ingenious, I tend to imagine that's how everyone is, or at least how they should be. Of course I suppose the reality is more complicated than that. It takes all sorts, after all. Still, I wonder, do we have the right balance? Wouldn't we be better off with a little more everyday ingenuity?


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