It’s bold, cheeky and spot on. ‘What it is is beautiful’ is a wonderful juxtaposition to the girl in her baggy pants, her scrawny laces and her rather insane Lego creation. But it is exactly beautiful. It forces you to appreciate real deep beauty, and not - easy to falsify - surface beauty.
-Josh Summers, “Lego’s Beautiful 1981 Ad Campaign”
Mr. Summer’s is referencing this 1981 advertisement for Lego; it is a brilliant piece of advertising and frankly a surprising one to me, given Lego’s moves to create gender specific play sets.
For Christmas this year, Eloisa got Legos from her grandparents. The set was not a small one and I believe my mother saw in my face that I thought it was almost too big of a set, so she offers me this gem:
I know this one has a lot of pieces, but this was the only one that was gender neutral. All the other, smaller sets were either princess castles for girls or spaceships and race cars for boys. Also, they were color coordinated, so the girls set was pink and the boys set was blue. This set has a male and a female character and doesn’t have a theme, so she can make what she wants.
What this communicates to me—in direct opposition to the 1981 ad—is that children of a certain age have fewer options in what their Legos can create, which is sad. Add to that the fact that if my daughter wanted to play with spaceships (please, God!) and race cars, she would have to do so with a “boy’s” set, in “gender-appropriate” blue. Lego’s simplicity in the 80s was its biggest strength and, now that they have a huge business, it feels as though they have lost some of that childhood curiosity that they once worked so hard to create and engender in their products.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.