Prints of Peace
A story in this week's Los Angeles Times, "Lots of black ink now," describes how a group of monks found financial stability by marketing ink cartridges at cut-rate prices. It's an interesting example of capitalizing on one of the hidden costs of the home computing revolution in which printer costs have dropped radically in relation to the price of ink to operate them. As the child of a Xerox employee who well remembers ad campaigns for the copier company that feature a distinctive image of a monk associated with the trademark, the commerical strategy of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank may also be taking advantage of a time-tested pitch. In some ways, it's a story about how fiction becomes truth. In addition to making online videos, the monks also have a page devoted to Luxor & Ludwig, their dogs or, as they call them, "cloisered canines." One can also send prayer requests through their commercial Laser Monks site.