I'm all for handmade but...

You know when somebody seems so ironical that you're like, "hold the phone.." because they seem to be making fun of something but you are having quite the time putting your finger on it?

Well Friday evening I ran across something like that. These two boys, hip as could be, were showing their wares in a tiny, teeny space moonlighting as a gallery at the monthly art murmur here in Oaktown. One of them bent over a big four harness loom and the other over an industrial Singer, they were displaying blue jeans they'd made from start to finish. And the price? In the neighborhood of several thousand dollars as I recall. They claimed the process took nearly 4 months to complete.

My first thought was, "are you-all crazy? it wouldn't take anybody four months to do that!" Not that I'm some kind of raging capitalist, but that just doesn't make any sense to me, someone with a basic knowledge of how things work and what things are reasonable. (And someone with a working knowledge of handmade time frames.) Hand weaving, sure. Hand stitching, sure. But these boys had tools and seem to be skilled. But four months! Jesus.

So as these boys cooed, "see, we're wearing them," and "of course it's profitable!" and "would you like some sake?" I just sat there trying to figure out who exactly was having who in that little room. Were they poking fun at handmade? At luxury items? At money itself? Or at the people who don't know how much work goes into a pair of blue jeans? I still can't figure it out.

Bless me Roy and Travis, for I am confused. I suppose that as such a provocative exercise, it may have succeeded in that vaccuum of the gallery space, but as for any larger, broader context, I'm afraid not.

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