Sunday 19 August 2012

THE ARTISANAL EXPERIENCE. Brought to you from the mines of South Africa.

You thought artisanal stuff is what you buy at the farmers’ market? Well, you are totally out of it, my friend. Let me explain. There is ARTISANAL MINING in South Africa where women and children scrape rocks and sift through mine tailings in search of trace amounts of copper or gold. Check out

This opens up a world of possibilities. Not for the child miners -- they are screwed -- but for writers, who can now apply ARTISANAL in entirely new contexts. Here are a few suggestions:

ARTISANAL FAMILY: Includes a pampered hand-raised child with a distinctive whine, delicately flavoured with salt of tears and a hint of snot. Optional: a spouse seasoned to your taste with judicious prenuptial clauses, carefully balanced to eliminate any aftertaste of regret. Make sure to look into grandparents individually kneaded and shaped into babysitters and delightful cheque writers.

ARTISANAL COMMUNICATION: the creative process of forming full-flavoured words, emerging individually from a pre-warmed and pre-wetted mouth and skilfully oriented and cast in your direction, wherever you are. Perfectly audible without distortion or echo. No monthly fees. Reception guaranteed, even in the remotest corners of the Arctic Circle.

ARTISANAL MOVEMENT: the locomotion of legs by means of specially formed feet and knee joints. Functions on flat and inclined surfaces, will transport you over smooth and rough terrain. Caution: persons must me at least one year old. Consumption of alcohol and drugs may affect performance. Similar artisanal movements available also for arms, hands, and fingers. Handy for applications such as dish washing, bed making, and cleaning the toilet. NEW: A promising development adapting artisanal house-cleaning to male limbs. Still at the experimental stage, but expected to be fully functional within a generation or two.

ARTISANAL ACCOUNTING: the creative filing of income tax returns, for the discriminating One Percenter, guaranteed organic, mixed with the purest bull shit; also creative filing of expense accounts, hand-weeded of items such as champagne, limousines, and escort services.

ARTISANAL PRISONS: individual cells, vastly superior to the old “hot box”, a finely crafted and individualized solitary confinement experience matching your particular mental state and capitalizing on your personal phobias and sensitivities; now adapted for outdoor use with hand-crafted electronic ankle bracelets.

ARTISANAL EGOS for celebs, developed at our Ordinary Life Facility. Guaranteed to reduce bloating in the brain and generally repress bad boy/girl behaviour.  Warning: involves cruel confrontation with reality, painful reduction of disposable income, crushing experience of going unrecognized in public and being deserted by suckers-up and paparazzi.  Watch our skilled artisans taking on hardened cases like Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, and Lindsay Lohan and turning them into hard working, modest, considerate persons. – No, sorry, forget it. My fantasy is running away with me!


  1. Ricardo Quinones23 August 2012 at 12:02

    There are many grants available for leadership, why not for followship, which is just as important. This is why Macalvoy of Newsroom gets stuck with two legs in one side of pants. Unwilling to follow, each leg competes for top spot. But Jack Sprat and his wife accomodate each other fine. There should be Guggenheims for followship; look how close it is to fellowship.

  2. Let me bring you up to date, Ricardo. There are many institutions that offer grants for followship. The Catholic Church, to name just one. Trouble is: you have to die first. The grant is paid in heaven. Or hell.