IKEA and St. John Lateran

Today is the feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran in Rome, the cathedral church of the diocese of Rome. It's also opening day for the first IKEA in Massachusetts, in Stoughton, just south of Boston. Coincidence?

I have mixed feelings about IKEA; at one level, I love (and I mean _love_) the design; they treat their workers very well; and, for the graduate student wanting cheap furniture without it looking like grandma's house, it's a sweet deal. My own home and my office are full of IKEA stuff. But it does, or could, lead to overconsumption; this is not furniture designed to be placed in a monastery in order to last forever, but designed to hold a place until your taste or your budget changes. (Also...fun Marxist critique of the way in which the illusion of equality at the purchasing end ignores the inequalities at the production end available here.)

But mostly I'm just happy not to have to schlep to New Haven anymore in order to buy søfas, väses, and cute little låmps. We had thought about driving down there today for opening day, but decided it might be a little too crazy. As of 12 noon, there's a one-mile backup on the highway, which I can imagine will only get worse. Avoid route 24 this weekend!


Michael said...

My Partner and I scope out IKEA to get ideas. Then he plans to go home and build it himself, only sturdier. We'll see...

I know I will eventually break down and buy one of the rainbow-hued stuffed snakes. And where else can you buy tea lights at a dollar a gazillion?

Anonymous said...

Brian... Your piece on "IKEA and St. John Lateran" couldn't be more funny -- Well, perhaps it could have, but I don't know how you'd reference that this date is also the 30th anniversary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald! ...From your friend in Minnesota