Archive for October 30th, 2007
OK, I know that argument over what would Jesus drive has pretty much fizzled out. And good riddance! It tended to be divisive and distracting. But I think a good point was put out there that perhaps, just maybe, we are a nation of addicted consumers and this addiction is not really a good thing for us or the planet.
I was reminded of this when I opened up my jar of Maxwell House instant coffee (too lazy to brew on work days). The lid had this really nifty rubberized non-slip yellow band around it that felt real cool when you turned it with your bare hand. (I don’t always wear gloves in the kitchen). I don’t think it made it any easier to open but it was called the E Z Grip Lid. I got to wondering – did this help to sell coffee? And why? Have the number of coffee jar opening accidents been drastically reduced? I could visualize Maxwell House lids flying out of housewive’s hands, smashing into their husband’s foreheads, blood pouring onto the dinette. Good to the last drop, indeed.
I was outraged! How much does it cost Kraft foods to make this special lid? How much more does it cost the consumer? Is the production detrimental to the environment? Are the lids being made in Chinese sweatshops? I was ready to take this case up with Kraft themselves but then I found out… that….apparently…..it… is… helpful for folks with arthritis. Makes it easier for them to shut the jar tight and then reopen it. Keeps the coffee fresher. (sigh)
But I couldn’t let this energy, this momentum, this thirst for justice go to waste. I needed a cause and I needed a cause just like this; trivial enough to not require any real thought but a threat that was wide spread enough that I could rant about it on my blog. Let me see….let me see…..
Aha! It was right under my nose all along! Well, maybe not my nose, but the noses of millions of American men – Super Razors! Something called the Razor Wars has been raging for some time now between shaving titans Gillette and Schick. Outside the mundane K-Mart world of those who use disposable razors, unknown to those reactionaries who still use their grandfather’s safety razors and completely foreign to the German loving OCD types and their electric rotating knife shavers is a world of action, excitement, sexual tension and space age technology; the domain of the Non Disposable Razor, or NDR for those of us in the know.
I remember when the first double bladed NDR came out. “What can they be thinking of?!” I thought. Trying it out with trepidation I found that yes indeed, it did shave much closer. You see, the first blade lifts the hair follicle out while the second blade cuts much closer to the skin – in fact so close that it cut the beard below the skin! Zounds!
This was great until my neck and face became a war zone of festering in-grown hair pustules (you’re not eating are you? sorry). Besides that, the double blades had the added advantage of allowing me make dual shaving cuts on my face that were in perfectly parallel lines. Ouch! So I grew a beard. Now not all of you out there may have the testosterone necessary to do this – that’s right, you guys who still have full heads of hair. But for me, it wasn’t a problem.
So from the sidelines I watched the shaving armament companies gear up for a war of escalating razor speed and power. The handles became rubberized with contour ribbing for a more sure grip ( The reported cases of emergency room nose re-attachments dropped 70% in the first year alone!) Then a third blade was added for more speed and an even closer shave. It seemed that the limits of shaving performance had been met.
But then, after years of R&D and million of dollars invested Schick unveiled its outrageous answer to power shaving – the four bladed Quattro. Named after a four wheel drive German automobile in honor of the company’s founder, Audi Schick, the Quattro blew away the competition. Men that bought the Quattro claimed that it was so fast that they could make it to work at least 20 minutes earlier than men using inferior razors, and that was after a coffee and donut at Krispy Kreme. (Yes, sadly this market demographic does not frequent Starbucks). Now it was just a matter of time. Schick could sit back, catch up on the “Lost” episodes they missed while developing the Quattro and just wait for Gillette to fold.
But Gillette not only didn’t lie down and die peacefully they took a bold gamble, one so risky that it could either mean great rewards or…..a truly disposable razor company. Bringing in the best scientists that Germany had to offer (hey, I detect a pattern here!) and, using night vision goggles under the cover of darkness, the tech crews devised and produced the Mother of All Razors – The Fusion! With five blades, ( Five Blades?! This baby was shaving so close it was scraping the bone!) contoured rubberized pistol grips, an 8X10 Zeiss scope, 14 round turbo mag with AWD and chrome tip dual exhausts – this was a razor to be reckoned with. (Unfortunately, due to the need for an early pre-Christmas release it only came equipped with drum brakes and there is a company advisory against shaving too fast near the jugular. Vented discs should be installed on the ’08 model.) An extremely expensive piece of machinery, Gillette is hoping to recoup some of their costs by opening it up to the foreign market. Interestingly both Saudi Arabia and Israel have put in advance orders for the Fusion while Gillette plans to send advisers overseas to help train the Arabs on the technicalities of high performance shaving.
My concern is this; are we serving the Kingdom by spending our hard earned money (well maybe not that hard earned, I have done a little blogging at work lately, I do need to stop that) on dangerous, expensive and resource exploiting performance razors? Why can’t we just shave with the old fashioned straight razor – it can be used over and over again and it has so many more uses than just shaving faces. If we are uncertain about this we should just ask ourselves: What Would Jesus Shave With? I think the answer is pretty clear.
STUDY GROUP QUESTIONS:
How much speed can you get out of a NDR, anyway?
Should real men have smooth faces like girls?
How fast is too fast? Where are you going?
Why are bearded men sexier?
Does it really help you get girls? I mean really?