Grump of the Day: Grant McCracken
In The “nod” and other acts of rudeness in the consumer society Grant takes inexplicable offense to The Nod – the phenomenon where an eye-contact/chin gesture is exchanged between two people who drive the same vehicle, use the same computer, or whatever.
But I have to say “the nod” creeps me out. I don’t want to be a co-conspirator in someone else’s act of self congratulation.
I am pleased that you believe your choice of computer or car or browser makes you look riskier or indie-er. But leave me out of it. The fact that we share consumer choices, put that down to coincidence. The moment you start sending me the nod for my MINI is the moment I take it to the used-car lot and see if I can’t trade it in for a Nod-proof Valiant.
Hey, to each their own, but one wonders why Grant constructs this as rude, or as evidence of personal inadequacy.
I’m fairly certain this has come up on his blog before – I remember commenting about the nod that motorcyclists exchange, and then amending that once I realized it was actually a wave, a one-hand-slightly-uncurled-from-the-handlebar as you pass. Or an arm stuck straight down. But you can’t search comments on that blog, so I can’t find the last time we all discussed this.[Yes I can. Grant linked to it in his posting. It’s here]
When we go through decisions to acquire things that are visible, in many cases, that’s a personal decision. The belongingness we feel when we observe that in someone else is a great deal of fun, not a product of personal inadequacy. I wouldn’t nod at someone else carrying a can of Coke. I might nod at someone else wearing a Rolling Stones tongue shirt. Hey, I might nod at someone else drinking a can of Jolt (I drink neither, I’m just hypothesizing about the level of identity, meaning, uniqueness, tribal, outsider, etc. embedded in the various product choices). I do have a few shirts with tongues on ’em, however.
At least Cayce Pollard was allergic to brands; she had no choice but to remove them from her person. Grant seems allergic to personal connection, we’ll have to do more than simply sand off his Dockers logo if we are to help him.
Update: the direct link above to the blog entry in qustion still works but a visit to Grant’s blog itself doesn’t show the post any longer.