retail anarchy

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Cut the Cord, I Mean Crap.

January 1st, 2009 · 2 Comments · Composition, Design, Order

Text From CB2 in italics:

De-mass bulky media storage with barely there metal grid that’s ultra slim, strong, efficient, exposed. Flatscreen on top, dvd and audio below. Wide open space outlined in a powdercoat of slick lobster red. Also available in carbon.

Now I know there are plenty of you reading this who are decor savvy, but it’s time we got down to the soup at hand. This advertisement is not for a piece of furniture, this advertisement is selling you a fantasy. A fantasy of living a minimalist lifestyle which is simply not supported by reality. Do you want to see reality? Do you think you can handle it? OK. Notice how none of the electronics pictured above have any cords? They never show you what this stuff looks like plugged in, and that’s because it would (in the best possible situation) look something like this:

Let me explain the contents and the cords. First thing is that there is an irregularity in the copy, it reads “Flatscreen on top” yet features an old black & white television. The problem with these old TV sets is that they were designed before cable television and so they do not use F-Type adapters, they just have four screws in the back, two for a VHF antenna and two for a UHF antenna. You need to get an F-Type adapter, but I don’t think they’re even made anymore as I can’t find a photo on the internet to show you. The problem with these adapters is they are an awkward shape and pop off randomly, so in the middle of watching something you constantly have to go get a screwdriver and screw them back on. The other problem is that because of the awkward shape you end up having to lay the cable in positions that reduce the amount of slack on it in an effort to keep it from falling off. This results in what you see on the top left corner where I have laid the cable over the top of the table, thus keeping it visible. Now I don’t know what kind of a putz would use a monorail television in conjunction with a DSS dish and a DVD player, but it seems to me that minimalists often sacrifice quality and comfort over style. The circle with the vertical lines through it directly underneath the television represents a surge protector which is necessary based on the length of the cords and the fact that the wall on the right does not have a visible electrical outlet. The black line behind the lantern (which probably distracts the viewer from the proper brightness of the television in the first place) represents the connection to the DSS dish on the roof. See the floor to ceiling window behind the television? You can’t drill through glass and you can’t drill through the window frames without fear of breaking the glass. So when you signed up for DirectTV or Dish Network and it came with “free installation” and the lazy installer showed up just wanting to get his $200 fee as quickly as possible, he slapped the dish on top of your front door, told you it “had” to be pointing in this direction, and then ran the big ugly black cord along your ceiling and brought your minimalist dreams crashing down into hell. Those cords only come in white or black and you are getting whatever he has left on his truck that he got as cheap as possible. Why can’t he attach to the cable in the basement? Well for one you have no cable mount on that side of the room, same problem as the electric, and for two when you bought your luxury condominium the building developers most likely signed a deal with the local cable provider leaving a padlock on the box downstairs that the DSS installer is not going to touch with a ten foot pole.

Scenario Two: You have a flat-screen television, same story as above except you have to putz around with HDMI cables, and unless your television has two HDMI inputs (oops, forgot to ask before you purchased?) then you will need an HDMI switcher which comes with another power cable and an additional cable to the television, along with an additional cable for the second component.

Mind you none of this gives you 5.1 sound, something which is also essential to both DVD and HDTV. For that you will need a surround sound setup which is going to add a receiver, six speakers (and their wires), along with figuring out where to put your subwoofer so that it doesn’t rattle around this “metal grid” piece of $hit cabinet you shelled out $249 for. This is usually the part of the story where you find minimalists sitting on the floor in the corner crying as they watch some awful piece of Pierce Brosnan romantic-comedy nonsense on their laptop. Have a nice day.

I might add that from a design perspective it makes no sense to put a television with its back to a window as the glare from the window blinds the viewer throughout the day. However, depending on which Pierce Brosnan film you are watching, that may be of some benefit.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 modernemama // Jan 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

    And “De-mass bulky media storage” is dumb-ass copywriting. Together with “powdercoat of slick lobster red”, it goes on my list for the crappiest copy ever!

  • 2 Jamie, dammit! // Jan 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    We have new”minimalist” desks at our new office. I am trying to figure out what to do about the unsightly cords. They should have gotten some more ‘retro’ desks with fronts so we could hide the buggers! Now I have to be created.

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