So then, what DO our artifacts say about us? We can read all sorts of things into, well, things. This was something that I found washed up on a beach in California a few years back. I used to have all sorts of these plastic army men when I was a kid, and I turned out relatively well. I think. Still, these types of objects do speak to particular social realities and conditions, don't they? When was the last time you walked through a kids' toy section? Notice any consistent themes? Any gender-based differences in the displays and products? I always find toy sections to be pretty fascinating places, especially when particular national debates crop up.