It’s always nice to see some of our own kind in films. Today at Backstage.com, we learn that the new Tim Burton-produced futuristic animated sci-fi production 9, set to open nationwide next week, includes scavengers:
“Its heroes are what [animator Shane] Acker calls ‘stitchpunk’ creations — 8-inch puppets sewn together by a divine creator, in this case, the human inventor of the evil Great Machine — that carry possessions within zippered bodies and have been endowed with a ‘soul’ by their now-dead creator.
“These creatures, with only numbers for names, must battle mechanical monsters in the ruins of a vaguely European city, a vast junkyard from which they scavenge useful debris.”
The film’s voice talent includes Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, and Martin Landau. Crispin Glover’s actual middle name is Hellion, and I’m not sure I will ever forget his freaky original song, “Clowny Clown Clown,” released in 1989. “Scavenge” a free look/listen at YouTube!
Stop using your credit cards. They’ll just get you into debt.
But wait: Don’t throw them away. Just stop using them as they were designed to be used — that is, to pay for stuff. Save the actual cards. Because they’re useful in all sorts of ways you might never have considered.
Here are ten ways we’ve repurposed our unwanted credit cards. But the possibilities are infinite. How would you use yours? Post ideas and links in the comments section below, or email pictures of your handiwork here.
(Click each photo below to see the full-size image. Card numbers are blurred; you can never be too careful these days.)
Ten Practical Uses for Your Credit Cards
(Also formerly known as “Eskimo sunglasses.”)
Make sure to have the back of the card facing outwards; otherwise, the protruding card numbers will make it hard to aim! (This really works — click here to see a video of the credit-card putter in action.)
A hand-held mini-helicopter augmented with credit cards for extra lift. Click here to see the credicopter actually flying!
Check out the robotic, kinetic, found-art sculptures of Nemo Gould! This clever Midwesterner-turned-Californian — whose work has been exhibited at many galleries and the San Jose Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Arizona Museum for Youth — uses salvaged metal, wood and more to make sleek, witty, irresistible pieces that flash, glow and gyrate. Among the elements of his 2008 work “Housecat,” you can spot a saw handle and part of a walking cane. “Octovarius” includes a salvaged violin. “Little Big Man” includes deer antlers and what looks like the casing from a vintage radio. Get a gander of ’em here. Gould himself has this to say:
“What makes a thing fascinating is to not completely know it. It is this gap in our understanding that the imagination uses as its canvass. Salvaged material is an ideal medium to make use of this principle. A “found object” is just a familiar thing seen as though for the first time. By maintaining this unbiased view of the objects I collect, I am able to create forms and figures that fascinate and surprise. These sculptures are both familiar and new. Incorporating consumer detritus with my own symbology, they are the synthesis of our manufactured landscape and our tentative place within it– strong and frail at the same time.”
A new Nintendo Wii action game features a pair of scavengers searching for buried treasure in the desert. Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper provided the voices for the two seekers in “Deadly Creatures.” These scavengers, however, aren’t the game’s protagonists. Rather, gamers assume the roles of a tarantula and a scorpion who interface (wham! bang! crunch! bleed!) with a retinue of lizards, bugs … and treasure-seeking humans. Here’s a preview.
Right out of the blue, we happened upon a vivid passage about scavenging in Veronica Chater’s new book Waiting for the Apocalypse. It’s a lively and tender memoir about growing up in a large devoutly Catholic family during the 1970s, and has nothing else to do with scavenging, yet in introducing her two younger brothers, Chater writes: “If there is something lost, Nick and Danny are the ones to find it. Foremost, my brothers are treasure-seekers, scavengers of the world’s lost things. And that requires them to hover just a millimeter above all surfaces, their eyes darting around all the dark places where no one else bothers to look. Nick and Danny never see the view straight ahead where the light is good. They aren’t interested in what can be seen. They’re interested in what lurks in the shadowy crevices. Money, a comb, a pocket knife, a whistle, a pen, a Tootsie Pop, a lighter, a crayon, a dollar bill, a five-dollar bill, a hundred-dollar bill — you never know what you might find. They believe in chance. Chance that has to be snatched quickly and run away with before the opportunity is gone.” Now, those are our kind of kids.
In the Oscar-nominated film The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke’s character Randy and Marisa Tomei’s character Cassidy visit a thrift shop to buy clothes for Randy’s daughter, Stephanie.
“What is she?” asks Cassidy, riffling through racks, trying to find the right style. “Goth? Punk? Hippie? Preppy?” Sadly, Randy says he “ain’t got a clue,” then adds: “I think Stephanie’s a lesbian. Does that make a difference with you?” “No,” Cassidy replies. “That’s cool.” All around them rise well-stocked racks of clothing. Off one rack, Randy lifts a lime-green satin letterman-style jacket, beaming: “Oh wow! What about this? It’s got an S on it! It’s perfect.” Cassidy tries to hide her alarm, noting diplomatically: “It’s winter, so maybe we should get something warmer — like a peacoat.” She picks one out and shows it to him. At first Randy agrees, then raises the lime-green satin jacket high into the air, admiringly. “I don’t know,” he smiles. “This is pretty rock ‘n’ roll.” Cassidy smiles. The smile spreads slowly across her beautiful face.
“You should go with your gut, man,” she says.
Are you a scavenger? We are. And we think there’s a lot more of us out there than anybody realizes.
Scavenging is the first and only blog devoted exclusively to the concept of the scavenger. And we’ll also explore the philosophy of scavenging as a lifestyle (or a hobby), and the critical role it plays in the world at large.
So send us your tales of scavenging, your greatest triumphs and most bitter regrets. And start thinking of yourself as a scavenger first, above all else.