Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Little Heathens

I've been listening to a book on tape called Little Heathens while I'm driving. It is very interesting and kind of fucking with mind in regard to consumerism and materialism. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by how much "stuff" we have. It makes me think of the song "Society" by Jerry Hannan that Eddie Vedder sings in the soundtrack of Into the Wild. By the way, I don't think the kid in Into the Wild was a hero. I think he was foolish and arrogant and probably disturbed and he made a lot of foolish decisions without any real preparation.

So, I have been thinking a lot about consumer culture lately. Especially because I want to help Emma June grow up not being brainwashed by it. JP is definitely a lot more frugal than I am and always has been and I don't think I've listened to that as much as I could have over the last 14 years we've been together. Although, I'm still not going to eat some of the food that is old enough to be scary that he will. But that's a different family argument. Still, I've been having flashes lately of just how consumer driven our culture is. Even our economy is supposed to improve with "consumer confidence" which means we're supposed to buy more stuff, create more garbage, create more clutter and unnecssary piles of "stuff".

I'm not sure if I'm expressing this well or not, just how much of my lifetime has been focused on the right clothes, the best car, the latest technology. I don't have a problem with technology (ie: not quite a luddite) it's the having to replace that technology every couple years. I feel like it's part of my mission in life to learn how to not live by consumer culture and see if I can convince some around me to not live by consumer culture. How is the Earth going to survive if the Western version of life - meaning buying and upgrading stuff all the time - continues to be the norm? I wonder if it is possible to have a non-consumer based economy? What would that look like? We do need to buy food and have shelter and warm clothes and entertainment. But do we need so much advertising and commercials everywhere and do we need new cars every few years and new clothes every year as the "fashions change"? I think we'd need a massive societal revolution to change that. Recycling is all well and good but I think stopping the need for "stuff" - especially stuff with so much excessive packaging would be a lot more beneficial.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe this can help you with the food arguments:

    I also think the kid in Into the Wild was a tool. I understand that people like him happen, and his story definitely seemed real (oh yeah, it was), but... I wish that it didn't have to happen that way.

    p.s. This post is not old lady writing.
    This is old lady writing: http://www.timecube.com/