Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27, 2007 Bonus Blog
On the trail of the Panama hat was a sordid, potentially ugly affair with a happy ending. Kathy is an avid shopper and when she gets on the hunt, lookout! She got it in her mind she was going to get me a fine Panama hat and she really did her homework and she was on a mission. A mission which expanded with each country she visited (she landed in eight and bought hats in six!). So I now have a whole bunch of new hats. Some that look better on me than others.

Let's start with the the exotics, that looked good "on paper" but not necessarily on my head. This first one is a Peruvian hat with great native designs, but unfortunately, with it on I look like a Jersey gambler who flunked a Rorschach test and had to wear the ink design home. The second hat is a Huasso hat which is muy authentica in South America.

The biggest tragedy on the hunt is this Superfina hat (below, left) which takes three months to weave and costs $350. It looks a bit too businesslike (thus the sketch from earlier today illustrating the progression from "cowboy" chapo to "ciao" lid) The last hat, she got in Antigua for $60 (she bought me two different styles) and is one of my favorites. The good news is that we created a hat museum in our bedroom and prominently displayed all of these hats where they can be seen and enjoyed. And they do give me much joy!

As I mentioned when we were in Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega's wife is the promotions director of the country and she has put up all these billboards, spinning out demented "Democracy" slogans which seem as empty as the Nicaraguan Palace of Government (below). The whole place had an eerie silence, like a Nuetron bomb had been detonated and eradicated all the people, but left the buildings.

In Guatemala there were all of these armed guards outside businesses, like this one, outside a bank in dowtown Antigua. Even convenience stores had them. It actually was kind of calming to see them.

Here's an image of a woman with goods balanced on her head. This was very common in Nicaragua, less so in Guatemala:

Classic Onion Headline de Jour
Study: Reality TV, Reality Unfair To Blacks

"To this day the American graphic designer is largely looked upon by the manufacturer and the advertiser as a necessary evil, barely tolerated as the budgetary inconvenience he represents and resented for asking a price for so dubious and intangible a commodity as creativity."
—Leslie Cabarga, in her book Progressive German Graphics, 1900-1937

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