Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lighter



Lighter secured in Dubai, UAE in 2002. Two flames are given off the top of the figure's head when a side lever is pulled. A silver plane is seen pierced through one of the Twin Towers depicted.
Offensive to many, this lighter brings to light the dual meaning of September 11th to different parts of the world. The individual here, most likely Osama bin Laden, preaches or points up with his finger raised. Would this be a tribute item that people would purchase in celebration of 9/11? Is this comparable to the items Americans purchased and corporations created after 9/11? These are many of the questions that arise when you view this item.
Back story: When I purchased this in Dubai at a street vendor stand, my dad protested the purchase. I think the rest of my family was also uncomfortable with it. I even worried about bringing the lighter back into the US. There was almost a sense of betrayal that people implied by buying such an object. It is one of the most polarizing and draws a strong reaction. Thus, it makes this lighter that much more powerful as an object.

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