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Antiques Wed, Aug 29, 2007
I'm surprised not only by how little interest I have in antiques, but by how much interest other people have in them.  I was driving home from work yesterday and I was forced to inhale some dirty exhaust from a classic car, a yellow Barracuda.  It was a nice-looking car, and its engine sounded powerful.  But in all honesty, I can't see myself ever owning a classic car like this.  For me, a car is a functional object.  It gets me from point A to point B.  A classic car would be about as useful to me as a classic computer.  Old, obsolete hardware, uncomfortable, poorly ventilated, susceptible to spontaneous fires.  It was almost comical to watch the guy driving the car try to get in a comfortable position in that giant bench seat with no headrest.  He kept himself cool by rolling the windows down.  I wonder what he does when it's in the 90s?  In the 10s?  I appreciate the idea of a classic car.  It's more about the look and the sentimental value.  But honestly, I like my adjustable seat and my headrest. 

That got me thinking:  What antiques would actually be valuable to me?  Most antiques I can think of are functional objects:  Tables, chairs, lamps.  If it's not functional, I would assume it's artsy, and I don't venture into those lands.  I can see the value of antiques if older things were build stronger and made to last.  Certain hand tools, for example, were made to last generations.  And they do.  Hand tools these days are made of cheaper, more readily available materials (e.g. plastic), and the quality isn't nearly what it once was.  But what you gain in durability, you sacrifice in functionality.  I could use a screwdriver from the 1800s, or I could use an electric drill I bought a few years ago.  I could attempt to keep a classic car in running condition, or I could depend on my Toyota Camry.  My Toyota Camry probably won't run in 20 years, but by then, we'll be driving around in personal hovercraft so it won't matter (ha!).  Also, I doubt anyone would want to resurrect a 20-year Camry.  It just doesn't have the same appeal as a typical classic car.  And if antiques are about appeal (visual or psychological), it looks like I won't be getting into them any time soon. #psychology


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