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The Choice of Content: An Example

The dawning of the millennium saw resurgence in interest in time capsules. One writer collected suggestions from the residents of Fountain, Colorado. The proposed artifacts included:
a piece of barbed wire
a microprocessor
a penny squashed by the local coal trains
a pack of cigarettes
a high-school code of conduct
an issue of Girls' Life
a hood ornament from a '57 Chevy
a Beanie Baby
a brick
a Nintendo 64
a hearing aid
a pumpkin seed
a pack of wildflower seeds
an audiotape of a high-speed police chase
a television remote control
a menu from Ralph's Fine Dining
a Purple Heart
Suggestions from other countries included:

Bharatpur, India (population 160,000)
       a bag of soil
       a closed-circuit camera
       a chillum, a traditional clay pipe
       a gold nose ring
       blue and white Bata "Hawaii" flip-flops
Mantes-la Jolie, France (population 45,000)
       Einstein's brain
       vial of AIDS-tainted blood
       "The Communist Manifesto" by Marx and Engels and "The Revolution
        Betrayed" by Trotsky
        an unmodified, unsiliconed woman
        a kiss
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (population 1,500,000)
        a bottle of soil
        a condom
        a plastic beggar's cup
        akierie, a walking stick also used for hunting
        a pair of Bata "Toughies" school shoes
Curitiba, Brazil (population 1,500,000)
        songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim
        processed, packaged meat
        indoor toilet
       Ipe amarelo, a local tree with yellow flowers
        pair of jeans

James Bennet, "A Few of Our Favorite Things." The New York Times Magazine,"The New York TimesDecember 5, 1999, p. 139.
How do the different choices reflect the different cultures? What images of society do they project?

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