Tschotske: Chotsky: Random, often worthless, items. Knick-Knacks. Junk.

Wander through any of the myriad antique shops around town and ask yourself a simple question. What sort of curious, insightful debris will our generation leave for the collectors of the future? Will it be ancient communication gadgets with dark, unpowered faces? Stacks of decaying and otherwise worthless IKEA furniture? There won’t be any books. There won’t be any records. CD’s, DVD’s? Maybe a few but it’s doubtful anyone will even have devices to play those things in thirty years. Board games? Nope. Cameras? Watches? Not likely. That leaves clothes. Clothes and an abundance of petroleum-based garbage that’ll last for tens of thousands of years. But nobody wants that.

Antiques of the future

Today’s Pet Rocks and snow globes require AAA batteries and a tangle of USB cables. I’m sure you have a pile of this stuff in a drawer somewhere. The unused cell phones, digital cameras, orphan remotes, and a handful of electronic nice-ideas that have long since failed your imagination. Have you looked at how cheaply made and ugly it all is? Yet they linger in that nostalgic limbo between the garbage can and usefulness. These are the types of things we would have previously sold or bequeathed, given to our kids, shown to friends. Sadly, their only destiny is a spot in a hidden land fill where they’ll sleep for the next 35,000 years.

So what is this generation’s chotsky? Certainly craftsmen will continue creating fine, collectible objects. I’m afraid, however, that the built-to-fail variety has won the race.