Nonfiction | February 07, 2017

In a service-driven economy, in which many of us find ourselves doing work with little in the way of physical or even visible results, the idea of making a durable, tangible, useful thing is enticing—but we can’t force ourselves to need it. That is, we’re a bit hard pressed to need the handmade coat in a sew-it-or-freeze way. We can, after all, still pick one up at the Eddie Bauer outlet or Goodwill. We are casting about for some sort of meaningful, earned skill. But you can’t fabricate a mandate around here: can tomatoes or starve, make clothes or have none. Perhaps we are playing peasant—a society of Marie Antoinettes.

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