A Medal as a Party Bag Filler

by | Local (↓) | Convenience (↑) | 0 comment | 0 question

Awful plastic medals on scratchy multi-coloured ribbon, which also represent the many sorts of pointless tat that end up in children's party bags.

Where and how is it used?

Asda describes these plastic medals as "a fun way to congratulate the winners of party games... Make it a party to remember with more great essentials, toys and decorations from our exciting new Party range". In my view, these medals and all the other awful tat that fills party bags stand for a very particular sort of wastefulness and excess. Far from making it a party to remember, these awful, cheap, nasty, badly made medals will be instantly forgotten. They have traveled far, all the way from China in a massive container on a ship to serve no purpose. As 1500 containers a year fall off boats, there are probably several thousand of these things at the bottom of the sea as well. The amount of time, effort, energy, and materials that have gone into their making has combined with the resources, ingenuity, creativity, and labour of all kinds of people to absolutely no end. When we look back at the moment when the wheels fell off civilisation, we will be filled with a particular sort of incredulity that individually and collectively we did not stop the production of this vacuous, pointless object.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

I have never and will never buy these, but my daughter has come home from parties with one. If only we would stop buying this sort of crap.

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

I want us to remember a moment when we were perfectly prepared to buy something utterly without any use, for no greater purpose than to spend a fraction of a second handing it over. The journey from party bag to bin takes up a fraction of the time spent conceiving of, designing, sourcing the materials for, manufacturing, packing, shipping, and selling these medals and, once given, the journey continues from bin to landfill. Nothing happened on this journey that justified the existence of this object. I want us to remember that we let this happen.


How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

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What is it made from?

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

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Who or what assesses its quality?

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Where is it sold?

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Who or what sells it?

Asda

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

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Where is it used?

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Where is it kept?

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How and by whom is it cared for?

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How long will it last?

Forever and ever, in landfill

Where will it go when it's finished with?

Landfill

What is it worth?

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