Growing up, I used to beg my Dad for a pair of Puma kicks. Having a pair would place me bove those mere proles who wore Nikes or even Addidas'. A clean pair of Puma kicks.
Well, my Dad did come through. Only, well, he was the king of "slightly damged" new clothes. The kind that came with a sharp discount. So when my Dad told me he got me some Puma's, my little kid's heart was set to explode with joy.
Then I saw them. They had a sky blue Puma stripe. Something a girl migh wear. I wore them once, because my Dad insisted, and then they never saw the light of day.
They were worthless, to my young mind.
Shortly thereafter, the Culture of Kicks spun out of control. Air Jordans, hundred dollar plus kicks. Man, it was an Arms Race in which we could not compete. I remember being told, by friends, "my sneakers are worth a hundred dollars."
Only, they weren't.
By Persian carpets is a thing some members of the Corporation do. I mean, you're on this west Asian sabbatical, so why not? Right. Well, that leads to alot of chatter about how much these rugs are worth.
Worth. Things are only worth what the next guy is willing to pay for them. What you pay for them represents their "worth" to the seller. That why I'm not big on luxury items, much to my wife's chagrin. Things that are shiny just don't hold that much interest for me.
Chocolate. Cribed this link from Boing Boing. It's about a these chocalate makers selling, well, chocolate for something like 2,000 dracma (U.S) a pound. Honestly, it's not the chocolate they're selling. It's the backstory. It's the sense of exclusiveness. It's the subtle superiority it's purchasers feel. Throw in some words about Fair Trade and the Rain Forest being saved from Carbon Depletion, and these nice folks from Texas have a gold mine.
Why sell the steak, when you can profit from the sizzle?
Nothing new there. We've gone from "Granpa Ray's Cure All Elixir" sold from the back of conestoga's to luxurious, single source couverture[new word, for me], marketed over the innerwebs.
Same dollar, different day.