You put a plunger in someone's hand, they feel empowered
February 12, 2015 4:03 PM   Subscribe

Re Made Co. You've drooled over the hand-tooled hand tools of Best Made, but a real man needs a plunger. posted by klangklangston (43 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 


This is amazing. I own to some gear envy looking through Best Made and I've even bought a couple things (or sought out the manufacturer and bought it from them). But if there was a "Mock the Best Made Aesthetic" conference I'd camp out to be first in.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Still not as bougie as yoga.
posted by boo_radley at 4:24 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Totality is then precisely this combination of closure and system, in the name of autonomy and self-sufficiency and which is ultimately the source of that otherness or radical, even alien, difference already mentioned above and to which we will return at some length. Yet it is precisely this category of totality that presides over the forms of Utopian realization: the Utopian city, the Utopian revolution, the Utopian commune or village, and of course the Utopian text itself, in all its radical and unacceptable difference from the more lawful and aesthetically satisfying literary genres."
posted by clavdivs at 4:31 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


An auger is better, trust me.
posted by jonmc at 4:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


A real artisanal plunger would be much more expensive, and sold by a man with a much more impressive beard. I call shenanigans.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:43 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's not a toilet plunger. THIS is a toilet plunger.
posted by CKmtl at 4:45 PM on February 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Somewhere Ron Swanson's nose wrinkles in vague, undirected disgust.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:48 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've never seen "Best Made" before.

My impression from the website is that it's inspired by Wes Anderson films.
posted by inthe80s at 4:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Never trust a man with a plunger in his hand who does not do a dalek impersonation
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


No, THIS is a plunger!
posted by charlesminus at 4:52 PM on February 12, 2015


Never trust a man with a plunger in his hand who does not do a dalek impersonation

You put a plunger in someone's hand, they feel empowered
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I keep 8 of those in my quiver. Shuts people up, they do.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


When a man's only tool is a hammer, he sees the entire world as nails that need pounding.

And when that man's only tool is a plunger?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:58 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]




It's about time that someone brought authenticity to the plunger market.

I've expressed my distaste for Best Made on MeFi before. Their axes make me grumpy.
posted by zamboni at 5:12 PM on February 12, 2015


That's not a toilet plunger. THIS is a toilet plunger.

Now get my SO to understand that before I have to bleach the sink plunger again...
posted by jason_steakums at 5:22 PM on February 12, 2015


Get back to me when you're using beefy hand-sculpted toilet drain seals made with exotic African Honeybee Wax that withstand the pressure of these awesome plungers.

Because that $1.99 wax seal from Home Depot will fold faster than Superman on laundry day, slowly letting that filth water infiltrate and warp your renewable wood flooring.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:56 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


The one thing that would be the cherry on top for this would be if they molded the rubber plunger part using some rare and obscure gourd that is nature's perfect positive mold for a plunger shape.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:58 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The proper viewing order is Best Made first.

The Re Made video is brilliant.
posted by fredludd at 7:52 PM on February 12, 2015


40 bucks for a pencil? 98 for a freaking sharpening stone?! 160 for a toilet plunger? WTF? That's a joke, right? Please tell me it's a joke..
posted by c13 at 8:07 PM on February 12, 2015


The comments on the video are pretty good too.
These plungers are at the heart of what it means to be a man. Our species has clogged toilets since the beginning of history, and if we walk away from that clogged toilet, we walk away from ourselves. This is our tool. It is both the giver and the taker. You just don't find that kind of connection ... or suction ... in today's world. You have to make it happen for yourself.
posted by moonmilk at 8:10 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


my favorite, you can watch both videos at once here - https://vimeo.com/80278488
posted by june m. at 8:13 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


He finds music in plumbing tools.

An ordinary plumber's smoke-rocket.
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This seems emblematic of Best Made's ethos: they're flogging a tactical pen--at a fifty-percent premium over competitors--which turns out to be poorly-suited for its intended use.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:23 PM on February 12, 2015


Poke a country out with one-uh those things.

Vintage French 1930s /40s plumber kit...IS IT VICHY?
posted by clavdivs at 10:43 PM on February 12, 2015


My favorite example of offensively bougie artisanal shizz is this.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:42 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's not a toilet plunger. THIS is a toilet plunger.

See, i know this, but it pisses me off in a pretentious nerdrage way the same way the pronunciation of gif argument does.

I know it's true, i just don't care. And neither do 99% of other people.

I was once trapped in a hardware store, where the cashier guy flat out refused to sell me a $4 sink plunger because he knew i was going to go plunge a toilet, and that wasn't what it was for and i obviously didn't know any better. He literally would not take my money and let me leave. We debated this for like 10 minutes. There were people in the store and in line and shit too.

Oh i knew, and i had used the wrong kind all my life... because it works fine if you finesse it right.

So now i have a stupid $20 bazooka plunger with bellows and the works, that i've carted around from house to house for years because god dammit it was $20.

So yea, if you go to buy a plunger and you know what you want... and the guy ever asks what it's for, say a bathtub, because god dammit fuck off.


on the plus side, i will admit that this turbo plunger rules. i have never once needed to give it more than one pump once it got a decent seal.
posted by emptythought at 4:33 AM on February 13, 2015


I find the whole backlash against the current trend for utility a bit simplistic. I don't think anyone shopping for this sort of thing would honestly deny that it is an assertion of a particular class-based fashion trend. But in this respect all trends are tied to a certain socio-economic group. Baggy jeans in 90s hip-hop. Charity Shop 90s Grunge etc.. All fashions are like this.

What is really the issue here? The perversion of "utility"?

Bougie crap uses the pretense of “quality” to create a two-tiered system: the people who can afford to buy these products and the people who can’t.

But actually this products generally ARE of better build quality. Expensive stuff usually lasts a lot longer than cheap stuff. So its not really a pretense. And ALL fashion is about creating an in-group and an out-group based on some distinction. And traditionally it has been based on money. So the backlash is against what exactly? It just comes across as ressentiment that one is unable to afford quality?

Have you ever been into a Manufactum in Germany? It is all about conspicuous consumption and everyone in there I think would admit that if pressed.
posted by mary8nne at 5:48 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is also a secondary issue in that the prices of these quality goods, usually handmade in developed countries like USA, Germany, UK, etc. are actually how much it would cost to make that item if you were not able to pay some impoverished worker in a Free Trade Zone a pittance for budget Primark clothing.
posted by mary8nne at 5:53 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I whole heartily support Shinola--over priced yes, quality product yes--assembled, and eventually manufactured, in US and located in inner city Detroit, yes, diverse and well compensated local work force yes, good economics for Detroit, yes. Takes money from the the aspiring and upper middle class and redistributes money to middle/working class creates while creating competitive employment for trades, crafts, designers/artists, retail sales, etc. Owned by Bedrock Manufacturing. Bedrock is an investment company that targets those with discretionary income ( after all they have money to redistribute), assembles and moves manufacturing to the US, low profile, has a sense of humor, its companies have diverse workforces, create opportunities for craftsmen(persons), trades people, artists, etc. Chief Executive take no salaries because he do not need it, encourages board participation of owned companies, etc. I think the article Bougie Crap is so off the mark it is disappointing--if one has realistic and pragmatic plans for economic development I wish they would be set forth rather than offering self conscious and self righteous criticism.
posted by rmhsinc at 7:10 AM on February 13, 2015


the prices of these quality goods, usually handmade in developed countries like USA, Germany, UK, etc. are actually how much it would cost to make that item if you were not able to pay some impoverished worker in a Free Trade Zone a pittance for budget Primark clothing
Umm... Huizhou Jiaxin Rubber Co., Ltd. is asking $1.22 for Chinese-made wood-handled toilet plungers with a minimum order quantity of 1000. In higher volumes the price seems to be as little as ten cents each. There are other costs including marine freight transport, insurance, unloading, transportation, customs, taxes, logistics, etc etc, but Home Depot only wants $3.28 for their basic model or $6.28 for the "heavy duty force cup" beast in-store in midtown Manhattan. In Deutschland a high-quality German-made plunger can be had from Amazon.de for $9.58 (at today's exchange rates) including Prime delivery from the (unionized) warehouse. In conclusion, BWAAAHAAAHAAAAH $350 ARTSINAL PLUNGER.
posted by jcrcarter at 7:22 AM on February 13, 2015


"I find the whole backlash against the current trend for utility a bit simplistic."

I think if you're seeing this as a backlash against "utility" you're buying the Best Made bullshit at retail prices.
posted by klangklangston at 8:34 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


For a bit more: Mark Maynard interviews Rebekah Modrak.
posted by klangklangston at 8:37 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


In conclusion, BWAAAHAAAHAAAAH $350 ARTSINAL PLUNGER

You do realize the plunger site is a parody, right?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:45 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know who else promoted German toilet plungers, right? Just sayin'.
posted by Chitownfats at 10:37 AM on February 13, 2015


I'm jealous emptythought because I have the fancy "correct" plunger for the first time and it won't seal on my fancy ass toilet. It sorta eventually gets the job done, but I will NOT be being another plunger unless there is a true emergency.
posted by Gor-ella at 11:09 AM on February 13, 2015


I like the construction "fancy ass toilet" in that it implies that there are mundane, non-ass toilets available.
posted by klangklangston at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2015


I whole heartily support Shinola--over priced yes, quality product yes--assembled, and eventually manufactured, in US and located in inner city Detroit, yes, diverse and well compensated local work force yes, good economics for Detroit, yes.

I'm ambivalent. At one time, large parts of the US watch industry entailed buying in, customising and assembling Swiss parts, so it's not an inauthentic practice. But I also dislike the branding in similar ways to Modrak: the faded glory stuff, the hint of Decline Porn.

In general, I find Best Made (and Kaufmann Mercantile, and Labour & Wait in the UK) slightly problematic when they obfuscate the origins of their products*, because if you do work out where they came from, you get to see the markup. I think they deserve a cut, like any retailer, because they're doing the job of getting things sold, and we live in an age where people use physical shops for browsing then buy the thing on Amazon, but it'd be nice to get the Thing without the branding slapped all over it. You can ask similar questions of Field Notes (mainly the collectors' cult around them) but they tell you exactly which suppliers they're using for every edition.

* The mugs are from Emalco. Who makes the red notebook?
posted by holgate at 5:49 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Holgate--I lived for over 35 years near Detroit and saw its decline--an aging parent abandoned and neglected after having given so much. I really have no ambivalence--just delighted. I actually never heard the phrase "decline porn" but am familiar with the concept. I understand the sentiment. I am particularly impressed with Bedrock which has become extremely profitable in identifying market niches and bringing a number of products back to the US, first for assembly and progressively for manufacture. --they have been successful with sports wear, etc. Always targeting the "lower" high end of consumer products.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:19 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the things that I think is an interesting aesthetic connection is how Hitler and Speer promulgated the "Ruin Value" theory of aesthetics, where the eventual collapse and sublimation as monument to imperial greatness becomes a desirable trait — I think there's a lot of that in how Detroit is talked about, not least because so many of Detroit's grand edifices were built in the early 20th century. Not necessarily germane to Best Made, but I do think there's a weird atavism that underlies both aesthetic values.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think there's a lot of that in how Detroit is talked about, not least because so many of Detroit's grand edifices were built in the early 20th century.

The proposition is "once great, can be great again", but the aesthetic can get stuck at "once great", and I think that can apply to some of Best Made's stuff as well: a kind of suspended-animation retromania. A chunk of the present gets directed towards the production of artefacts that are iterations on "pastness", not too far apart from the industrial estates on the edge of Dublin that create the interiors for "Irish pubs" and ship them around the world in 40-foot containers. (Pinning down the aesthetic differences between those manufacturing processes becomes a study in kitsch.)

I'm happy that Bedrock's bringing good jobs to Detroit with Shinola; if it grows to become an American Nomos at a less exclusive price range, even better.
posted by holgate at 2:01 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Hitler and Speer promulgated the "Ruin Value" theory of aesthetics, where the eventual collapse and sublimation"

More Bauhaus Dessau don't you think. A comparison to Kahns work seems more apt concerning arcitecture. If your going for pie in the sky marble edifices that have its own domed atmosphere then Speers your man. If your thinking of the model gazing Nero bunker stage of scorched earth, maybe?
Holgates take is spot on. The Irish pub veneer is interesting. Similar business here in Michigan deals with restoring all that lovely hard wood mouldings and panels doors etc.
which 95% were prefab from the 1880-1890. Interesting as I "own" a novelty co. Which has produced zero products. Capital is tough concerning this subject matter. Some research shows exporting ruination and nostalgia regionally is not profitable esp. On regional subject matter. Need to be local, regional and global. Perferably in that order. The electric car circa 1905 was bouuu
Gee. The charging stations alone along Cass Ave were an erry place at night, still is. Edison ruined the electric and to bad, they would have won out IMO. So a comparison of Ford and Edison business practices is a better comparision and contrast.
But we can all agree the Rolls Royce is on hell of piece of work.
I'll leave the Germans out for obvious reasons whoop VW whoop.
posted by clavdivs at 11:53 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


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