Nine Perfect “Products”

  1. Fuji X100 camera
  2. The Cure’s Boy’s Don’t Cry album
  3. Beckett’s “trilogy” of novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
  4. Tony Scott’s film True Romance
  5. Dr. Marten 10-Eye steel toe-cap boots (Cherry Red)
  6. Sibelius’ The Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
  7. Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci
  8. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
  9. Cross “Townsend” black lacquer fountain pen (medium nib)

[Inspired by “Houellebecq’s” lament for three perfect products in The Map and the Territory. I’ve drifted beyond fungible manufactured commodities into performance: what can be manufactured with sounds, words, bodies and light.]

‘In my life as a consumer.’ he said, ‘I’ve known three perfect products: Paraboot walking boots, the Canon Libris laptop-printer combination, and the Camel Legend parka. I loved these products, with a passion; I would’ve spent my life in their presence, buying regularly, with natural wastage, identical products. A perfect and faithful relationship had been established, making me a happy consumer. I wasn’t completely happy in all aspects of life, but at least I had that: I could, at regular intervals, buy a pair of my favourite boots. It’s not much but it’s something, especially when you’ve quite a poor private life. Ah yes, that joy, that simple joy, has been denied me. My favourite products, after a few years, have disappeared from the shelves, their manufacture has stopped purely and simply – and in the case of my poor Camel Legend parka, not doubt the most beautiful parka ever made, it will have lived for only one season …’