29 January 2005

the sublime paper clip

paper clips

Paper clips have been heralded for their simplicity in design, their utilitarian value but also maligned for their propensity to multiply and clutter desk drawers.

Let's not forget the manifold uses for paper clips beyond attaching papers together.

- Before moving onto safety pins, punk rock middle schoolers were sticking paper clips in earring holes. ("fuck you, corporate america! I will subversively use your tools as jewelry!")

- Elementary kids, envious of junior high schoolers sporting retainers and braces, could bend paper clips into temporary retainers. (Ok, perhaps it's a bit hyperbolic of me to employ the plural kids when it was most likely just me

- A hearty shit! goes a long way when your zip disk got stuck, but a straightened paper clip got that bad boy outta there.

- Experimental composer John Cage applied paper clips (and other mundane objects) to piano strings to create a unique sound.

Those ubiquitous, small pieces of bent wire are often life-savers of the MacGyvian variety. I have to say, I'm a fan. Even more so after discovering this new use.

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