Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TLC offers new TV show celebrating collecting obsessions

As I've written and documented here, September 11th has been an event that has impacted and been reflected through all forms of material culture. My goal has been to document and examine such examples, and I have also created a collection. I sometimes also ask the question of why people would purchase or consume or even be drawn to such items. I don't really address the issue in my postings, but as I see it, there are really two parts to the equation that results in the items I have documented. First, there is the American drive to consume and collect goods and items, and second, there is the producer/company/"capitalist" that motivates, manipulates and feeds (and hopes to never satisfy) that want and need. The end result is consumption, collecting and amassing material goods. It is a never ending cycle. We all carry this out, some people in small ways (the latest technology gadgets filled with movies and music) and others in significant ways. Well, TLC has now created a show to celebrate the excessive consumer/collector titled "My Crazy Obsession." One has to wonder how many collectors will be clamouring for their 15 minutes of fame now. Even more so, I have to wonder if this kind of focus will fan the flames of consumption and collecting. The result could be positive if there is an opportunity to examine and reflect on the meaning and impact of these collectors and their collections and what they say about our society. But it appears the presentation will be more a Barnum and Bailey approach. Step right up and take a look for yourself at the teaser:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twin Towers Tribute: String Art

There are plenty of examples of corporate America's 9/11 tributes, but this simple mass produced string art tribute is unique. There are many examples Twin Towers handcrafted items that were available for purchase, but examples like this, where it is not company driven (like the Joann Fabrics tribute quilt) and the individual creates the example, are less frequent. The company or individual seems to based in Islandia, NY, but the item was produced in China. It is also difficult to see this as art, but as other examples have shown, it is all about marketing and sales here. Handcrafted doesn't have the seem appeal as "string art."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pols: 9/11 deserves license plate before NY Giants .Article Comments more in New York

The Wall Street Journal reported:

A commemorative license plate for the New York Giants was unveiled hours after their Super Bowl victory.

Now, two New York lawmakers say a similar but delayed tribute to the real heroes of the 9/11 attacks is long overdue. They said first responders and victims shouldn't take a back seat to millionaire athletes who are honored after championships with license tags. Those are exempt from the state's moratorium on new commemorative plates.

"I'm happy that the Giants won the Super Bowl as much as the next New Yorker, but who are the real heroes our state should first be celebrating with distinctive plates, the athletes on the gridiron or the first responders and the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11?" Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco, a former college athlete and high school coach, said Thursday.

The plate for the team that plays in New Jersey was issued despite a moratorium on new commemorative plates in New York. A lawsuit by an advocacy group has sought a "Choose Life" license plate since 2001 and brought a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds. That led in part to the state's self-imposed moratorium on new plates.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration says the Super Bowl plates don't violate the moratorium because they are a reworking of a 1987 Giants Super Bowl commemorative plate with a new date and logo. It's the same policy that produced revised specialty plates for the 2008 Super Bowl Giants plates and the 2009 World Series plates for the New York Yankees.

The bill, which has languished since 2005, was introduced by Tedisco, who represents Schenectady and Saratoga counties, Democratic Assemblyman William Scarborough of Queens, and Republican Sen. Kenneth LaValle of Long Island. They announced the bill Thursday with a father of a victim of the terrorist attacks.

"The Giants win of the Super Bowl is potentially a temporary one-year reign. The tragedy of 9/11 with respect to our fallen heroes and those who survived is eternal. Are we more interested in yesterday's game than that ill-fated day we should never forget . or have we forgotten?" said Steven Cafiero, of Glenville. His son, Steven Cafiero Jr., died in the World Trade Center's south tower.

The bill would direct the fee revenue from a commemorative plate to charities benefiting the families of those killed in the attacks.

Jackie McGinnis, spokeswoman for the Department of Motor Vehicles, said the state has a contract with major professional sports teams to redesign plates with teams' approval. Currently, many established specialty plates are being revised to match the state's new yellow color scheme. In addition, it's possible to update any current specialty plates, such as those depicting the New York Rangers, NASCAR and minor league sports and causes such as autism awareness, raising money for the Erie Canal Museum, the arts and pet population control

Hundreds of Giants' plates were ordered shortly after they went on sale the night of the Super Bowl.

The Giants Super Bowl plate generates additional revenue for the state, as do all commemorative plates. A new plate with a random number costs $60, and there's a $31.25 annual fee to keep it. Personalized Giants plates cost $91.25 with an annual $62.50 fee. Those updating from the old Super Bowl plates get a slight break.

Friday, February 10, 2012

American Spirit Quilt: Jo-Ann Fabrics 9/11 Tribute

Here we have a special tribute September 11th quilt kit offered by Jo-Ann Fabrics in 2002. The designer of the kit was an employee whose husband was a retired firefighter.

Ultimate Spider-Man Issue: 9/11 Tribute

This Ultimate Spider-Man issue was available for free, and features a 9/11 tribute on the cover.

Adventures of Superman #596 Recall

Unverified recalls and returnable comics
This section lists comics that have been rumored as recalls or have been voluntarily returnable to the publisher (i.e. a recall notice was not issued). None of these comic books are listed in the Collectors Society as being recalled (in the "Recalled Editions" competitive comic book set).

Adventures of Superman #596
November 2001, DC Comics
This issue was shipped to stores the day after the September 11 attacks in New York City. Due to an unfortunate coincidence the Superman comic features a scene in which Metropolis' twin LexCorp Towers have sustained damage due to events in the "Our Worlds at War" storyline. DC quickly announced that the issue was returnable although few, if any, were actually returned.[17]

Sturgis 9/11 Tribute Keychain

Similar to the Iowa county fair tribute belt buckle in my collection, this key chain was offered as a tribute to 9-11-2001. It is dated 2002. Perfect example of reach and impact of September 11th. If a tribute key chain was offered at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, there should be many more examples of the influence of 9/11 on material goods to explore.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

September 11th Postcards

There are too many examples to count of postcards. Because of the simplicity and cost of producing them, examples like these will continue for years and years (and have already- 10 years out and counting). My brother and his wife sent these examples to me. I didn't even realize I've never posted any postcards yet until today.

World Trade Center: The Movie

Nothing demonstrates the impact more of the events of September 11th than the resulting movie and tv productions. The highest profile example was World Trade Center, released in 2006 and directed by Oliver Stone. It stars Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon. World Trade Center is one of two films released in 2006 involving the 9/11 disaster, the other being United 93. For more info about the film's story, visit here.

Here is the DVD. Like many other examples from my collection, here is a clear cut example of how 9/11 influenced all forms of material culture. Also, like many other items, the movie included a donation component. Here is the release:

Four New York-based Charitable Organizations to Receive Donations
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation today announced that it is receiving a donation from the release of the film “World Trade Center.” The Foundation is among four New York-based charitable organizations that honor the memory of those lost in the September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers or provide ongoing support to their families, to receive donations from the release of the upcoming film.
The film, directed by Oliver Stone, tells the true story of real life Port Authority Police Officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, who were rescued hours after being buried beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center. The film recounts their courage, follows their families as they wait for word, and shows the heroism of their rescuers.
The charities will receive 10 percent of all “World Trade Center” ticket sales in every theater across the United States – more than 2,000 theaters - for the film’s opening five days, from Wednesday, August 9, 2006 through Sunday, August 13, 2006.
Fifty percent of the total donation will go to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, for the construction of the Memorial’s two reflecting pools to be located on the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The remaining fifty percent will be shared equally among Tuesday’s Children, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center and the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
Joseph Daniels, Acting President of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, said, “It’s our sacred obligation to remember the innocent victims and honor the sacrifice of the many brave individuals who gave their lives in the September 11th attacks. This contribution will help ensure that the memory of those heroes lives on through the World Trade Center Memorial. Visitors to the Memorial will be able to reflect upon the enormity of the loss and the triumph of the human spirit – which are the heart of 9/11. By sharing in the many stories of that day through this film and through the Memorial and Memorial Museum, we celebrate the resolve and spirit of the American people.”

The organizations that will receive the donations are:
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation – The Foundation is the not-for-profit corporation founded in 2005 to realize the Memorial quadrant at the World Trade Center site. The Foundation will raise funds, oversee the design, and operate the Memorial, the Memorial Museum and a Visitor Orientation and Education Center located on eight of the 16 acres of the site. The Memorial will remember and honor the thousands of people who died in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Memorial Museum will facilitate the public’s encounter with the enormity of loss and the triumph of the human spirit through artifacts, exhibitions, and educational programming. The Foundation has a $300 million private fund-raising goal to build the Memorial and the Museum. It has raised $131 million in private donations from over 17,000 donors from 11 countries and all 50 states. More information can be found at or by calling 1-877-WTC-GIVE.
Tuesday’s Children – Almost five years ago, Tuesday’s Children was born of a solemn commitment to the families of 9/11. Today, this non-profit service organization continues to meet the families’ unmet and changing needs with innovative services. With programs and offices in New York City, its northern suburban counties, Long Island, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Boston, Tuesday’s Children provides a wide-range of child development, family advocacy, mentoring, recreational and social service programs for thousands of 9/11 family members. The initiatives are created with one simple goal – to develop and provide the resources necessary to ensure that these families reach their full potential. More information can be found at
Jonathan S. Barnett, Tuesday’s Children Board Chairman, said, “In honoring the courage of these men, as well as all the heroes who responded that day and their families, this film is helping us celebrate the human spirit and its triumph over tragedy. This contribution will help Tuesday’s Children fulfill our mission – to provide important social services and support programs for thousands of 9/11 family members for as long as the needs are there. For this, we are deeply grateful.”
The Tribute WTC Visitor Center – Created by the September 11th Families Association to share the personal stories of victims, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, volunteers and residents of Lower Manhattan, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center will open across from the World Trade Center site this summer. By engaging visitors in the authentic experiences of those most affected by the events of that day, the exhibits will convey the courage, loss, heroism and grief of those who responded to the tragedy. Interactive exhibits, personal greeters and an environment for reflection will involve visitors in appreciating the scope and impact of the disaster, as well as the enormous outpouring of compassion in response to that loss. More information can be found at
Marian Fontana, President, and Lee Ielpi, Vice President, the September 11th Families Association, said, “We are building Tribute to ensure the next generation learns from the events of September 11th and is educated on the terrible cost of ignorance and intolerance so much that such an event never happens again. We are deeply appreciative of the effort to tell this story in this film, to join with us in remembering those we loved and lost, and in paying tribute to thousands of extraordinary people who responded to the city in our hour of need.”
The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund – The Fund was established in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub to provide financial assistance to the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. After the tragic events of September 11th, the organization expanded its mission to include the families of Port Authority Police Officers and members of the Emergency Medical Service. The Fund gives grieving families immediate financial assistance and, through an annual distribution, provides help to those with lifelong financial hardship. Since 1986, over $87 million has been distributed, with an additional $35 million designated to be paid out through 2009. More information can be found at
Stephen J. Dannhauser, President of the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, said, "We greatly appreciate this donation, which will go a long way in assisting the families of our city's fallen heroes. We are also thankful for the recognition of the important work our organization performs on a daily basis to assist and support the widows and children of New York's bravest and finest, EMS and Port Authority responders."
“World Trade Center” is a Paramount Pictures release.