Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Lure of SkyMall

SkyMaul cover - parody catalog

Working as a professional organizer makes you super-sensitive to ill-considered purchases. And what catalog better captures the essence of such consumerism than SkyMall, the in flight catalog?

There seems to be an odd fascination with SkyMall. John Flinn wrote about SkyMall today, struggling to understand "who buys this stuff"? He also directs us to SkyMaul, the catalog parody. James Reichmuth, one of the authors of SkyMaul, says, "SkyMall is a ridiculous example of manic consumerism, but you've got to admit that it's fun."

Reichmuth isn't alone in his take on SkyMall; Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles says, "There is no catalog filled with such utterly useless devices, doodads, and thing-a-ma-jigs that you absolutely must have (possibly due in part to the few drinks you might have had before boarding the plane) than the Sky Mall catalog."

Amazingly enough, SkyMall seems to have inspired at least two songs:

1. Skymall, by Jonathan Coulton, is pretty catchy.

2. Skymall, by the band Ramona the Pest, starts like this: "useless thing after useless thing, what useless thing will this new day bring . . ."

Want help fighting the allure of SkyMall? The New American Dream has a WalletBuddy (PDF) with a series of questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.

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