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One, two, three: "Commodity fetishism!"

Charles, Bethany and Slavoj Zizek all owe me a Pepsi.

Posted by Jeff Stevens | June 26, 2008 5:09 PM

The mystery here is, who uses a two-hole punch anymore? I haven't seen one of those top-hoop clipboards in twenty years or more.

Posted by Fnarf | June 26, 2008 5:09 PM

@2 law offices.

Posted by rose | June 26, 2008 5:40 PM

Excellent observation.

And I love the upending of the master-slave representational conventions -- the master is black!!

Posted by jackseattle | June 26, 2008 6:09 PM

Ah. Mystery solved, Ellarosa. Fortunately, I don't need to see lawyers much.

Posted by Fnarf | June 26, 2008 6:14 PM

I work with a two-hole punch every working day. And most of them sold nowadays are shyte. They're less than $10, and they break. They can only do about 7 sheets at a time. Where I work, we have to do a lot more than that at a whack if we're going to get the paper into the file.

This one, this one looks seriously well-built. If I hadn't been issued? glommed onto a retiring co-worker's? (I fergit) ancient, mid-20th century hole punch (Mutual Punch of Mass., BTW, compare and contrast), I'd be tempted to buy this beast.

The old ones, you can put about 3/16" of paper into one and beat on that handle hard get those punch rods through in one big bang. All day long. Year after year. The rivets might loosen a tiny amount. That is all. Again, most punches nowadays are shyte.

And that's a different capitalism thing: accountants and engineers being told to decontent and decontent and decontent, until the thing barely does its job anymore, but they still call it by its original name, and the price comes a little... yay... except... it's not very good anymore. This is a huge bummer when, because of market pressures/competition/race to the bottom, the maker of the good product can't survive anymore, and then nothing but shyte is available.

An example some of you might be able to identify with: staplers. They've turned into compleat shyte, too. (And yes, I have a decades-old stapler that I inherited from a departing oldster at some point, and good gawd, it will never die, and it works better than most anything new sold.)

I am slightly too sexy for my job.

Posted by CP | June 26, 2008 7:02 PM

Two hole punches are also used in military offices.

Not that any SLOG people would know that.

That said, your question about "a lifetime in a career" is amusing and untrue. Most people nowadays are expected to have between 6 and 20 careers in their lifetimes.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 26, 2008 7:13 PM


you are the biggest j.o.t.e.

i have no doubt you will be murdered at some point in your lifetime.

Posted by cochise. | June 26, 2008 7:39 PM

They're used in doctor's offices as well, or at least in the three different offices where I used to work.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 26, 2008 7:41 PM

CP, what you said about the staplers is so true. I have a 1976 Swingline in my office, featuring a smart bi-centenial American flag sticker that I hoard like a troll. All the new ones are complete crap--they can't punch a staple through the paper and properly fold the tines. This country is going to hell in a handbasket when we can't produce a proper fucking stapler!

Posted by Westside forever | June 26, 2008 8:20 PM

Such devices are used in offices where one wants to secure some or all of the documents in a folding file. This is not an uncommon desire in the modern office.

Yes, the older punches and staplers &etc. were built to withstand Armageddon. They also weigh several times as much as their more recently manufactured counterparts and make much better weapons. Of course, with today's Supes ruling, who needs such weapons?

Posted by umvue | June 26, 2008 8:23 PM

OK, I gather that I am an out of touch boob, which is sad, because I work in an office. I usually keep my papers held together with coffee stains and unidentifiable blobs of is that what I think it is. To make it worse I have been an office-supply junkie for longer than most of you have been alive. Must be the senility. I also called rose "ellarosa" who is an entirely different slog commenter. May the blog have mercy on my soul.

Posted by Fnarf | June 26, 2008 8:28 PM


and real estate offices...any office that needs to assemble files with paperwork fixed in to the manila envelope.

Posted by Non | June 26, 2008 10:28 PM

Yes, Fnarf, just because you don't use them doesn't mean others don't.

News flash - China has decided if we can be greedheads and waste gasoline on SUVs, so can they.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 27, 2008 12:32 AM

Speaking of staplers and "don't make 'em like they used to", yeah, Swingline, U.S. co, has been heavily involved in the decontenting. Then one day, at work, I spotted the arrival of a brand new, in box, Swingline stapler just like they made in the olden days! Heavy duty rugged stuff!

Made in China. So, they still make the good one, I think, but you have to search high and low, probably special order it.

Didn't use it, can't vouch for it.

And Will is right, people working one career? And bosses who care whether they like the office equipment issued to them, or whether it lasts more than 17 months? Feh.

Posted by CP | June 27, 2008 3:36 PM

Okay, I checked the Swingline web tube:

That's the one they sell now that looks like the immortal ones of olden days.

Everything else is rrrrancid shyte!

Posted by CP | June 27, 2008 3:41 PM

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