Crafts Are Stupid
Welcome, fellow whingers. With the election finally over, it's time we got back to more important issues, don't you think?
Crafts are stupid. Yes, I've said it. And in fact, I've been meaning to say it for a long time.
Before expounding on this bold statement, I pause to clarify. My condemnation is not aimed at legitimate crafts such as carpentry, metalwork, pottery, knitting, glass blowing, or anything of that sort. There is a clear delineation between those useful, well-established crafts and the comparatively valueless act of, say, gluing googly eyes on pinecones. Also, even the dumbest of crafts is perfectly fine for children. Their little brains crave engaging activities that help them learn things like not to eat paint. And besides, it's not as if they can go out into the world and make themselves useful; why not let them glue popsicle sticks together for a while? But if one is still doing that at forty-seven, some self-reflection may be in order.
Long have I been baffled by the gratingly cloying world of so-called crafting, that silly squanderer of time, attention, and resources, all of which could have been put to far better use. While I can understand enjoying the occasional sensible pastime, trying to wrap my head around the urge to create one's own felted keychain charm or pastel pom-pom paperclips or a button art apple or a button art pumpkin leaves me utterly convinced there must be more than one species of human.
Many of these crafts seem to focus on taking useful things (like buttons) and rendering them not useful by converting them to unattractive decorations. Why use Epsom salts to soothe sore muscles when you can glue them to jars and create festive candle holders? Got coffee filters that are just taking up space waiting to be used to filter coffee? Grab some markers and pipe cleaners and voila: ugly paper flowers! And why settle for ruining the environment with styrofoam cups when you can bypass their usefulness completely and craft up Mini Spring Bonnets for a festive centerpiece?
Worse still are the crafts that use food—stuff that could nourish the body—and repurpose it to make things that serve no purpose. One can forgive the macaroni art projects that keep the kiddies merrily occupied while their teachers enjoy five minutes of peace. But there's no excuse for potato stamps, a table runner made of beans, or abstract paintings made using otherwise edible ears of corn.
And what might the undernourished populations of the world make of the charcuterie chalet? I'm sure it's much like how the rest of us would feel watching someone make DIY wallpaper from left-over money.
There is a whole subculture here that seems strangely compelled to decorate everything in sight, covering their worlds in layers of cutesy homemade rococo. I submit as evidence the crocheted Pumpkin Post Topper. I wasn't aware that a banister post needed decorating. I am now convinced it does not.
This gingham-and-burlap sect goes mad for holiday "tablescapes," toilet paper cozies, and anything that can be made to look like a whimsical creature. They seem particularly enamored of owls, like the ones in the Owly Welcome Plaque or the troubling Owl Dream Catcher, though penguins, froggies, bunnies, bumblebees, and of course, chickens (who could resist these tasteful homemade Rustic Country Chicken Figurines?) get plenty of attention.
And wreaths. Dear God, how they love wreaths.
In the countless magazines, videos, blogs, vlogs, and websites dedicated to this blight, crafters teach other crafters how to make an endless supply of whimsical detritus. And yes, some people spend hours—and even dollars—learning how to make things like these must-have miniature frogs from polymer clay or this Holiday Wood Bead Floral Curtain Tie Back.
And at some point in the instruction, there's a word that often comes up, one that seems frightfully out of place in this context. That word is "important," as in "Now, it's super important that you line up the edges" or "It's important that you wipe off any excess before letting these dry." Important? Is it truly? And what are the consequences if that important step isn't carried out properly? Will our completely unattractive Floral Pumpkins be ruined?
Heaven forfend. How will we go on? Like bedazzled sweaters, velvet paintings, and mullets, the appeal of these kinds of crafts is lost on me.