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The 17-pound chunk of eco terrorism

Every few months, some blogger decries the death of print media, an efficiency guru campaigns for paperless offices or a paper airplane goes missing over the ocean, or something. Paper is being torn asunder as a medium. We get it: screens are in, paper is out.

As a writer whose career exists in the twilight between pulp and pixels, I’m necessarily neutral on the matter. Some money comes as checks, some as direct-deposits. I pet the paper tiger with one hand and the digital tiger with the other. Being part cyborg, I admit to a proclivity for digital but I’ve been largely ambivalent about the issue until yesterday, when Restoration Hardware dropped a 17 pound chunk of eco-terrorism onto my porch.

I’m not kidding – the catalog was 17 pounds. It’s behemoth weight was printed on the plastic binding that contained 12 individual volumes of the home furnishing store’s entire 2014 catalog collection. It was a sad day for the green scene. From a certain angle, the stack of pages resembled tree rings.

Hasn’t anyone told RH that printed catalogs are the phone books of retail? And phone books are dead. They should plant a grove for every doorstop they delivered this season and rename themselves Reforestation Hardware.

In the old days, to address your disapproval of such an eco-affront you’d need to tie a note to a brick. In this case, the RH catalog collection has the same mass as a cinder block and, if chucked through the window of their Corte Madera corporate offices, methinks the medium is the message.


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