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Mundacity - The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
aspiring2live
aspiring2live
Mundacity
I just coined this word. It means having the audacity to be commonplace. I think that is my life in many respects. I'm not into frills for the sake of appearing "special" or "individual." I'm mostly happy with what I have so why strive for "appearances"? I always tell people something I heard a long time ago from some anonymous source I no longer remember: I'm built for comfort, not for speed. Usually I'm referring, in a self-deprecating way, to my weight. But it fits my life in general, too. I'm not about the newest, or trendiest, or most. I like quality, and I'm willing to pay extra for it.

I'd rather have something 50 years old that works like the day it was made than have the same thing, new and cheap, that won't last for a year. I'm looking at my ancient Kenmore oscillating tabletop fan as I write this. I got it in a big box of stuff for $5 from an estate auction a couple of years ago. It is all metal except for two metal-reinforced plastic pieces. It was probably made in the fifties and it works like it is brand new. That America is dying with the WWII veterans, or maybe even died with their parents, God rest their souls. Trendy, flashy, fast, fake, plastic molded, cheap, Chinese, throw away... trash. That is what the consumer today has to choose from. The downside to free market capitalism, it seems to me, is that quality is always compromised in order to compete for the lowest price, because that is what we buy. If this fan was on the shelf at Wal-Mart, it would probably cost $75 dollars or more. I bet it weighs ten pounds! Next to it, would set the latest Holmes or Windmere plastic piece of crap straight off the boat from China for, say, $9.87? Yet, the "expensive" fan would be something your kids could take from your house after you died. Doesn't that count for something? Apparently not.

I have had a thought for a couple of years now, coinciding with the time I got this fan, you'll notice. What if someone started making very high quality products, such as this fan, knowing they were going to be more expensive, but marketing them to people that are interested in quality. Would some people pay more money for superior products when they could get something "comparable" for much less money? I don't know. Ask Mercedes. Oh, and notice that isn't an American company. We don't have the mundacity to strive for quality any more.

Note to self: Should you ever come into wealth, start a company called TopLine Products, or some such, for just this purpose. All American, All about uncompromised quality. I have the mundacity to do that.

Current Music: "The Times They Are A-Changing" by Bob Dylan

6 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
Comments
paperkingdoms From: paperkingdoms Date: May 27th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think there *is* a market for "good" things. It's not always easy to tap into, but I see aspects of it here--it's usually very tied up in the "support local businesses" thing that my town prides itself on. I think the quality over cost scheme is much easier to maintain if you see more of a relation to the people you're selling to - you want them to come back, and you wnat them to have a respect for your work. So I don't know that cheap crap is inevitable... but stopping the flow takes a whole lot more effort than just pulling in customers on price alone... or pushing brand name status symbols instead of quality.

Hi, by the way. I see you in dancingwaves and thunderslug's journals now and then. :^)
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 27th, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, my example of Mercedes shows that quality, at a higher expense, sells nonetheless. I differ with you in that I do believe that cheap crap is inevitable, especially as long as other countries can import so freely while our businesses are bound by law to make products responsibly (environmentally safe, fair wages, decent working conditions, etc.)

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!
From: recycling Date: May 27th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're so..so right about all that. I have to wonder just how the hell a company can make an oscillating fan that provides no breeze whatsoever. It almost seems to defy the laws of physics. I've bought some before, got 'em home, assembled them, then promptly taken it right back to the store for my money back. Then I'll go to an estate sale or garage sale and buy something that actually works for $5.

My current fan's from the '40s. My lamp is from the '50s. Heck, I owned the same color TV set from 1976 to 2000..when I finally opted for a unit with a remote control.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 27th, 2004 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well. I'm going to have to put this in my memories! Jay said I was right! ;-) I've thought a lot about this and I can't figure out what the solution should be. I can just say that if a company started making "nostalgia" items to the quality standards of past decades, I'd be willing to pay for them. You ever notice how everything says "New and Improved" but the quality keeps declining? Well, I stopped buying the lie and I'm doing my best to show it to other people! Down with crap!

From: recycling Date: May 27th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if a location exists in Raleigh-Durham, but Restoration Hardware is a good source for that kind of stuff. I've seen both fans and telephones made just like the old style (but for considerably more..I remember the phone selling for about $100, but it's big, black and heavy with a rotary dial like everybody used to have).

This does nothing to obscure my consumer avarice..but RH is a fun store to go and look at things. I'd be all about it if I made six figures.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 31st, 2004 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
There are actually locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte according to their store locator. That puts them all ~2 hours away, but I'll keep it in mind when I'm in those areas. Uh, after I add another figure to my income. ;-)
6 aspirations -{}- aspire with me