Be kind, rewind

The film American Collectors, produced and directed by Bob Ridgley and Terri Krantz, examines the psychology of collecting, with interviews with 15 ‘unique’ collectors. According to Krantz: “in our research for this film we found that 30% of the American population collects, and has more room and space to fill with their collections than any other country in the world. Because of this unique set of circumstances we decided to focus on American collectors.” Anything can be a collection (The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies (via)), as we never tire of pointing out. But the emergence of MoOMismcollecting the collectors – has given fresh impetus to the aggregation of related things. Arguably, private museology is as popular now as it ever has been, with hitherto unknown levels of validation for the act of collecting. Above image from Phantom’s Reel To Reel Tape Recorder OnLine Museum.


Saadiyat Island, a vast leisure complex in the UAE, seems to trundle on, with only marginal improvements in worker’s rights. At the same, the area’s biggest projects – the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Louvre Abu Dhabi – have both slipped further into the future, with delays and controversies dogging the initial glamour of their annoucement. It’s a salutary lesson that we should always sound a note of caution – perhaps more than a timid note – when relaying jumped up statistics and excitable predictions about some unlikely-sounding mega-project that’s meant to rejuvenate or kickstart a place purely through its grandeur and perceived status.


Satan in Society, by ‘A Physician’, an 1871 broadside against the dangers of masturbation and birth control. On the latter:

‘All other methods of prevention of offspring are disgusting, beastly, positively wrongful as well as unnatural and physically injurious. Some of them are so revolting that it is impossible to imagine how persons with the least pretensions to decency can adopt them. Any deliberate preparations with such an object savour too much of cold-blooded calculation to be even possible with pure-minded people. At best, the conjugal act should be spontaneous, and directly in accordance with the promptings of Nature. A husband who can coolly lay his plans with reference to future performances of this character, is guilty of practising the seducer’s art in relation to his own marriage bed; he is the unclean bird that literally befouls his own nest. It is then impossible that those who are guilty of such practices can be ignorant of their wicked and criminal nature, and the woman who consents, equally with the man who organises the method, is a willful and premeditated criminal.’ (page 151)

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