Made In The U.S.A.

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Is buying American a joke?

In Adventures on December 31, 2009 at 12:38 am

To a whole lot of people, it is.

And I’m not sure if that’s unfortunate, or just fine.


I had to buy a book.

In Adventures on December 29, 2009 at 12:27 am

This is the problem with buying American: sometimes you can’t.

I needed to buy a book. For work. For my job as a writer, for which I sometimes interview people. I purchased the new book of a photographer I’ll be speaking to so that I can properly interview him without sounding like an idiot.

Is it my fault that he, or really his publisher, decided to print a book in China? More to the point, is he supposed to tell a publisher, “No, I don’t want you to publish my book if it means it won’t be printed in America.” Have you looked at photo books lately? They’re huge. And expensive. And clearly often made overseas. I don’t know too many photographers–even world-famous ones–who would argue with their publishers about where to print their books.

It’s a business. Publishers want to make money, even if it’s via your life’s most meaningfully passionate pursuit. It’s a business, and we consumers want cheap. And those businesses want profit. It’s how the system works. It’s called capitalism.

And it means that sometimes, no matter how much you’d like to avoid it, you have to buy things that are not MITUSA.


Buy American. Or don’t. But understand why. Then choose.

In Adventures on December 27, 2009 at 12:59 am

I keep trying to sum up what I’ve purchased this year, what I haven’t purchased, and what I’ve learned about substituting for MITUSA stuff. But I can’t. There’s just so much we consume in this society, and I haven’t investigated so damn many things. Golf clubs. Flashlights. Batteries. Footballs. Video games.

I know you can buy most foods made right here in ‘Merica. But you’ve gotta be careful of avocados. And shrimp. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas Aftermath

In Adventures on December 26, 2009 at 12:43 am

I received many very thoughtful gifts this year. Some were deliberately MITUSA, which I found to be a very sweet gesture from my family and friends. Other gifts were accidentally MITUSA–gifts that were given that just happened to be Made In The USA. Here’s a rundown.

Deviled Egg Tray. This gift, the result of a gag gift exchange, is not only quite desirable around my house, it’s randomly MITUSA. Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.

In Adventures on December 25, 2009 at 12:00 am

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’


What we can learn from my phone.

In Adventures on December 23, 2009 at 12:24 am

You may recall that I bought a cell phone this year. How do you buy an American-made cell phone, you ask? You buy one that has become a “naturalized citizen.” You buy a used phone.

That’s exactly what the site Zendoo does. They buy your junky old cell phone, and then they cell it to somebody else. Like me.

My previous cell phone was so old and awful they didn’t want it. I donated it. The recipient probably threw it away. But that’s not what this is about. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Awesome Things I’ve Learned are MITUSA

In Adventures on December 21, 2009 at 12:00 am

I hope you enjoy these. They’re going to be some of the last “hey look at this cool MITUSA thing I found” suggestions you’ll ever get from me. The year is winding down and I’m feeling a bit ponderous, so I’m guessing the posts are going to start taking a thematic, sum-up-able bent. Without further ado, until I bore you with that, allow me to bore you with this. Read the rest of this entry »

Made In The USA Clothing Store

In Adventures on December 20, 2009 at 12:44 am

From The Cutting Edge, the Carpenter’s Union publication in St. Louis, via my boss (who is not a carpenter but somehow receives this magazine):

Union Member Opens “Made In The USA Clothing Shop.”

Matt Pigg, Local 1795, his wife, Kendra, and Brooke Smith have opened a “Made in the USA” clothing apparel shop located at 104 West Columbia Street in Farmington, Missouri, just off of the Square. The grand opening was held on September 19th. Read the rest of this entry »

Art consumer. Consumer art.

In Adventures on December 19, 2009 at 12:25 am

Kate Bingaman-Burt makes great art. See?

Mostly, she encourages people to think about what they buy. Sound familiar?

I really like her work. Maybe you should go buy some.


More Last Minute Gift Ideas

In Adventures on December 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

Have I mentioned this blog: If I haven’t, I should have. It’s a great resource for finding stuff that’s MITUSA. So if you’re stuck for ideas on American-made gifts, give it a look. How about an axe? Or a flashlight? Or a cleaning solvent?


Last minute gift ideas…

In Adventures on December 15, 2009 at 12:01 am

…for the stylish in your life.

A selection of great MITUSA goods, from furniture to lighting to decor and much more.


“What have children ever done for us?”

In Adventures on December 13, 2009 at 12:52 am

“Well, they make our shoes and wallets.”

— Kenneth Parcell, 30 Rock


People Got A Lotta Nerve

In Adventures on December 11, 2009 at 12:35 am

The worst thing about living in the future is the comments on the Internet. You know, the place where people turn into animals and treat each other like shit? I hate that.

Here’s a good example that also shows how passionate people get about buying American: a customer discussion at titled “Is anyone trying to buy American-made things?” Well duh. Don’t they read this blog? Read the rest of this entry »

Children’s Books

In Adventures on December 9, 2009 at 12:26 am

In the course of my holiday shopping, I’ve made a disconcerting and highly disappointing discovery. The majority of the children’s books I’ve sought for purchase are printed overseas.

The most popular presses are in China, although Singapore more specifically gets credit a large amount of the time. (Is that because “Printed in Singapore” somehow reads better than “Printed in China”?) Read the rest of this entry »

The SS Santa Claus

In Adventures on December 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

The massive cargo ships that bring us all the stuff we buy are destroying the planet. Read all about it.

– Just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulfur pollution as all the world’s cars.

– There are now an estimated 100,000 ships on the seas, and the fleet is growing fast as goods are ferried in vast quantities from Asian industrial powerhouses to consumers in Europe and North America. Read the rest of this entry »

Jumpin Jammerz

In Adventures on December 5, 2009 at 12:35 am



One more thing about China.

In Adventures on December 3, 2009 at 12:38 am

If you would care to read more about our increasing trade imbalance, specifically as it relates to the 60% (or $22 billion) of our outgoing funds traveling directly to China, you should click here to read an article from Time. Or you could just read this excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Bring it on, December.

In Adventures on December 1, 2009 at 12:20 am

Here we are. The start of the 12th month of a 12-month process. Coincidentally, the start of the month in which us U.S. Americans buy a whole crapload of junk we don’t need so that our friends and family will get off our backs for a few weeks. (Just kidding. I know that gift giving is a means of rudimentary bribe, made to convince those we love to stick around for another year.) Read the rest of this entry »