Razors and Rust: A Short Story

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Possessed of a higher mission—self-improvement.

Resource gathering. Like the original man—starts from scratch. A new society. All those coats. Never know how much you value a coat. Took months to make in the old days. Now you just go to a store. How, then, to categorize this book? In American Rust , poverty does not ennoble the dispossessed; instead, it leads them down the path of moral hazard, where they rationalize theft, murder, and other bad decisions in the name of survival. In the end it was rust.

Cleaning A Straight Razor: Some Do's and Don'ts

That was what defined this place. A brilliant observation. She was probably about the ten millionth person to think it. Ultimately, American Rust is not a hymn to the fraying brotherhood of man, and its characters do not survive for the sake of illustrating how despair fortifies the spirit or poverty strips away all pretenses or some other uplifting observation about the human condition.

Darryl Campbell lives in Seattle, edits The Bygone Bureau , tweets as djcampb , and will appear as a contestant on Jeopardy! Thoughtful commentary on a great book. It so accurately portrays the people who remember the old world and have to live in the new one. Sounds interesting, but I think working class people have way better coping mechanisms than this.

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There is a certain type of writer whose books loom especially large as targets for hatchet jobs. Under it in copybook writing was the signature King C. The little bearded man pushed his derby back off his sweating brow and looked for a long time into the dollarproud eyes of King C. Then he clenched his fists, threw back his shoulders and walked into the drugstore.

Gillette, a face with a dollarbland smile. Figure 9. Gillette advertisement from the s. The wife dropped like a laundrybag into the rocker and threw the apron over her head. This succinct scene dramatises more than the power of advertising, then; or, rather, it dramatises the way in which that power is intricately linked to the losses as well as the promised gains of Americanisation.

Of course Gillette was simply benefitting from a process that was well under way in the s. Sometime later, Michalina meets him again—but now he has transformed himself into Nehemiah the Athiest. In The 42nd Parallel , J.

Ward Moorehouse—born on the 4th of July and offered throughout the eventual U. Figure The Duofold, introduced in , was distinctive because of its tough exterior safe, the ads suggested, to throw out of planes and from the top of skyscrapers and because it was so large. Not what you might gain, mind, but what you might lose.

A small risk—spilling ink—has been reduced, but the emphasis is on avoiding a much greater one: failure to become rich. Finally, then, we come to the object that gives the painting its title: the razor. On the level of plot, the narrative suggests the sort of transformation promoted by frontier-myth: an advertising executive takes on the identity of a spy and travels, incrementally, westward to be reinvented through adventure and romance. But if we focus instead on the bathroom scenes, we realise that Thornhill Cary Grant never really changes at all. Alfred Hitchcock. I turn now from the iconography of the safety razor to its use, and in particular to changes in the habits and routines involved in the change from one shaving tool to another.

Looking again at ads from the late s and 20s, it is clear that what is offered by the new razors is less safety in the sense of avoiding the danger of injury and infection associated with the cut throat razor [51] than saving , in the sense of avoiding loss of time, money, and energy. In other words, the danger to be averted is that of inefficiency, of waste. One advertisement from aligned time saved in shaving with time saved in loading a gun.

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Suppose a man goes into a bathroom and shaves. He knows where the razor is, but first he must locate it with his eye. The Gilbreths used film to study therbligs in the workplace, attaching electric lamps to hands, arms, and feet to create what they called cyclegraphs Figures 25 and For example, Frank Gilbreth discovered that buttoning his coat from the bottom up rather than top down saved four seconds, and that by using two shaving brushes to lather his face he could cut 17 seconds off his shaving time.


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If it is employed in scratching your leg or in any useful purpose whatsoever, well and good; but if it is doing absolutely nothing, why not put it to work? It was the two minutes.


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Every razor, it argued,. With an approximate number of 10 million customers this would represent a saving of […] 5 million hours […] which represents , working days of the labor of , men constantly employed, which is nearly twice the number employed by the U. One satisfied customer was the British novelist John Buchan, and in he channelled his enthusiasm for his new razor into a novel called Huntingtower.

A week ago he had bought the thing in a sudden fit of enterprise, and now he shaved in five minutes, where before he had taken twenty […] Calculation revealed to him the fact that in his fifty-five years, having begun to shave at eighteen, he had wasted three thousand three hundred and seventy hours—or one hundred and forty days—or between four and five months—by his neglect of this admirable invention. Now he felt that he had stolen a march on Time. He had fallen heir, thus late, to a fortune in unpurchasable leisure.

How to Use Your Safety Razor

The barber then was a kind of safety-device himself, skilled in the process of sharpening and wielding blades. Barbershop , dir.

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Thomas Edison. But was one really enough? It was a high that was frankly hard to come down from. But come down we did, especially once we realized that women's razors, for the most part, suck. I can't count the number of times I've gotten a new razor, been thrilled to shave with it for the first time during my nightly shower, and then woken up the next day to find legs that feel like those prickly hairless cats.

Ever held one? I wouldn't recommend it. Or, how about shaving at night and then waking up to red, irritated bumps along your bikini line? That's fun, too. Oh, and are these razors cheap? LOL, girl, NO.

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