People always ask me, what’s a red paperclip worth? And I tell them, whatever somebody is willing to give you for it. And then they laugh and say well in your case, it was worth a house! - they think I got a house “for free” without realizing I only traded that red paperclip for a pen shaped like a fish so in my case the red paperclip was actually only worth a pen shaped like a fish. But people really like the idea of trading a “red paperclip FOR a house” so who am I to stop them from thinking that?
But in actual reality I’m fascinated with the value of really ridiculous things. Why do people place value on objects that have no meaning to others? Why do people slave away at menial jobs to spend several months of their wage to buy a shiny piece of metal to put on their finger? Why would somebody pay hundreds of dollars for a bottle of wine, or tens of thousands of dollars for a painting?
So with that in mind, what’s an autographed postcard of a goat in a tree worth ?
I bought this postcard in Morocco in 2003 and for the first 15 seconds it was the most interesting and important thing in the entire world…okay, maybe my girlfriend and family were more important, and actually, yes they were - by far - but they weren’t in my vision at that moment and that postcard of a goat in a tree took up my entire field of vision and brainpower and imagination and I had to have the postcard no matter what and thank goodness it was only 1 Dirham or less than 25 cents or whatever the guy in the shop said the price was because I probably would have spent a LOT more money than that on this amazing postcard.
I returned home from our Moroccan adventure and went to our family business and walked over to the postcard wall and proudly pinned this postcard to the wall already filled with hundreds of postcards from around the world sent in by friends and family and though “This is the best postcard on this entire wall, hands down” and left it at that and the ‘00s marched on and the internet arrived BIG TIME and nobody thought of postcards again because they were too busy doing live updates and putting #hashtags on things in #realtime.
Last night I walked by the postcard wall and saw the goat in the tree for the first time in more than a decade and decided to send it on an adventure back into the world of art and commerce and geography.
So I autographed it to make it official #art and now it’s up on eBay with a starting price of only $0.01 with free shipping anywhere in the world and somebody out there is going to have this goat in tree in their life and everything will once again be right in this crazy world.