The Joy of Things That Aren’t What They Seem

Published September 15, 2009 by Molly

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One of the hardest things about childhood is coming to terms with the fact that adults control everything. Pretty much up until your pre-teen years, adults determine where you go, what you do, when you eat and whether or not dessert is an option. The consolations are few––which makes them, of course, all the more important.

By “consolations” we mean small-scale triumphs and tiny deceits. Things like these Ceramic Crinkle Cups from A+R, which look like disposable Dixie cups that mom might scrape off the kitchen floor after a birthday party but were actually made by Netherlands ceramicist Rob Brandt in 1975 as a comment on our consuming culture. Give the set to a kid for his birthday and he’ll treasure the visual trickery it wreaks.

Then there’s LACMA’s Sarcophagus Backpack, which is a ladybug-hued replica of a tomb from the 21st Dynasty (about 1070 – 945 B.C.). You wouldn’t mistake this for an actual relic––it’s far too cuddly for that––but the likeness is deeply satisfying to tote around on your back. It carries the additional pleasure of being an accessory that a non-awesome adult could NEVER pull off, which, as all kids know, is always a sign of quality.

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