Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hell-in-a-handbasket: Intro and Legos

This is the first of an occasional series in which I will discuss signs I have seen that indicate that society is going to hell in a handbasket. Sometimes it is clear whether the sign is a cause or a result of this trip to a hot place in a woven, wooden structure, but it is often unclear. I won't usually judge causality, but will generally judge that these signs are bad.

Frankly, this could be a blog unto itself. I am imagining a site like What White People Like, but from a border line Gen X/Baby Boomer perspective. People like me who grew up in the 70's see signs that are specific to our age.

So, to start us of:

Lego Sets with Complicated Directions
Back in my day, legos had very simple shapes. Nothing was slanted. No curves. No directions. We got a box of rectangular bricks and started creating. We could make airplanes, cars, houses, boats, and other things, but we had to figure out how to make them with a set of rectangular bricks. When more types of rectangular shapes came out, we were happy (e.g., two-by-one bricks were an awesome addition to my Lego collection). When shapes that were not completely rectangular came out, we didn't know what to do with ourselves. Such options!

Nowadays, Lego sets come with pages of directions and usually have all sorts of crazy pieces that have curves and angles. Check out Lego's City line! That stuff is insane. Lego is doing more of the imagining and kids are doing less. I know that creative kids will ignore the directions or take the same pieces and do something really interesting with them, but I liked the days of having to bring your imagination to make things out of incredibly rudimentary building blocks.

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