Saturday, August 18, 2007

the desert of the real

There was a lot of chat about China in the office this week -- the Mattel recall, the melamine in the pet food, et cetera. Since this town is the former home of Hasbro, there are a lot of connections to the toy industry, and of course we make our living embellishing the brand promise for the Consumer Packaged Goods sector.

But the China story that got me was the one about the counterfeit NEC factory -- not just an anonymous building secretly turning out fake NEC electronics, a fake NEC factory turning out fake NEC electronics.

To the extent that consumer brands form the epistemological bedrock of a consumer society, this pretty much undermines everything. It's like the Ship of Theseus which sailed out on a long voyage, over the course of which, every plank and rope was replaced... with cheaper components of unknown origin... sourced from the global marketplace...

I also dug this one up out of my tags, the story of a simulated Disneyland in China. Funny that one of the complaints the Japanese had about this simulacra was that the talent kept taking the giant heads off of their costumes, breaking the fictive dream.

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