In theory I have nothing against Etsy.com. I’m all for the idea of an online space for people to display and sell their own artwork and crafts projects. Hooray for artistic expression, following your muse, and even making a little money in a totally non-exploitative way. On paper it all looks great. However, when confronted with the reality of Etsy.com I feel like I’m drowning in a flood of twee hipster flummery; an endless deluge of oh-so-precious tchotskes from and for the chunky glasses and vintage T-shirt set. This is not to say that everything on Etsy is worthless. I have friends who do some wonderful creative projects and have done quite well for themselves on Etsy. I think many of the things on Etsy, if viewed in a context separate from the website, would be quite charming, but when the site is taken as a whole, it all seems like so much specious bric-a-brac. It is for this reason that I have rechristened Etsy.com as LookAtMyStupidBullcrap.com.
It is in this spirit that today I offer you some of the more egregious examples of bullcrap to be found on LookAtMyStupidBullcrap.com. Enjoy.
Dirty Dancing Luggage Tag:
“Made from the j-card of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack cassette tape.” Seriously? You want me to pay $6.00 plus shipping and handling for a cassette tape insert sandwiched between two bits of plastic? Eat a dick. Unlike some items on Etsy which require actual skill and creativity to produce, I could make this myself with a 3M Self Laminating Luggage Tag and my own cassette collection. Also note that this Luggage tag attaches to your bag with a “clear snap loop.” With all the jostling and tossing luggage goes through, that snap loop is going to snap right open and your 6+ dollars are going to be lost somewhere in the Denver Airport’s baggage handling system. Rest assured my Ghostbusters 2 Luggage tags will be equipped with the straps that loop back around the tag, essentially tying it to your luggage. There's no way those babies are coming off without a knife. At a mere $8.50 that is a steal.
Tiny Rock With a Word on It:
It’s a tiny rock with the word “Pray” written on it. I guess to remind you to pray? For sure that’s the only thing that's been holding me back. “I know there’s something I need to do to save my immortal soul but I just can’t remember what it is. . . Oh, that’s right. Thanks, rock!” This item would be 200% less bullcrap if the word on the rock was “Prey.” Then you could leave it on a coworker’s desk, or in an enemy’s mailbox, letting them know that their time on earth is swiftly drawing to a close. Also if it were less of a rock and more of a bullet, that would be bad ass.
Man, isn’t Esty great? Don’t you just wish you had something you could pin to your shoulder slung book bag or blazer worn over a t-shirt that would let the whole world know how awesome Etsy is? No? Good! That was a test and you passed.
Buttons In General:
Etsy is home to what seems like millions of self-proclaimed buttonsmiths, all stamping out “Original One of a Kind” buttons emblazoned with cutesy, random crap guaranteed to flare up any hipster ensemble. I’m not saying these people are talentless, but on the scale of crafts, buttons are about one step above popsicle stick picture frames adorned with macaroni and glitter. There is not a lot of skill or artistry here, and the end result isn’t all that exciting. I mean, if I’m at a convention and you’re giving the buttons away with a purchase of $5 worth of mini-comics, I’m not going to throw them back in your face, but I’m not going to go out of my way for buttons. I’m certainly not going to pay $2 a pop and wait 5-7 working days for them to be delivered to my house. Buttons just aren’t that enthralling. Also, the buttons seen here are made from pages cut out of old books. I find that kind of abhorrent.
Washable Menstrual Pads:
This is gross. Now before any Inga Musico addled Esty addicts gets on my case, let me explain. When I say “this is gross” I don’t mean menstrual pads, or even menstruation itself, I have no problem with either of these things. I mean blood. I don’t care if it comes out of your vagina once a month or out of your hand after an accident with an X-Acto knife. Blood is gross. We don’t have reusable Band-Aids to treat everyday cuts and scrapes. EMTs don’t use washable gauze pads for gunshot wounds and massive head traumas. You know why? Because blood is gross, it’s unsanitary, and as soon as it leaves your body it needs to be disposed of along with whatever implement was used to soak it up. Just because this blood sprang forth from your wondrous and sacred lady parts doesn’t mean it has magic properties that make it ungross. Also, these pads might be adorable with their little smiley anthropomorphized blood stain appliqué, but they are not going to look this cute for long. Have you tried to wash blood stains out of anything, let alone super absorbent flannel? It’s not easy.
There you have it. Some world class bullcrap from Etsy.com. In the interest of fairness perhaps sometime soon I'll post some links to stuff from Etsy that isn't bullcrap.