Has The World Gone Wack?


It's an unfortunate fact of life that those who have the energy to protest about things are often mentally unwell and that those who protest against consumerism actually defy logic. Take Buy Nothing Day (BND) an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America its motive is "a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption." Right. Or take Adbusters who protest against advertising who say that saying no to ads is all "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."

Or what about those Freeganists who dumpster dive and run their cars on used chip grease - don't they realize they're bankrolling their rather smelly lifestyle on the backs of the excesses of consumerism? What I want to ask today is: Why protest against consumerism? And if you are going to surely do it in a way that has some actual impact.

I think you can look at consumerism two ways. You can look at it like 'oh woe is me I'm such a victim of advertising and I hate that these pesky advertisers are making me buy stuff I don't need and the way manufacturers have all sorts of fashions I have to follow so I'm in with the in kids. I'm so angry ooh I know ... I'm gonna protest... I'm gonna deface advertising posters because I'm so angry about er consumerism.' They're quite funny I suppose but don't make much sense.

So you'll be using the hand cranked gramaphone will you?

And as for protests....Hey lady was that protest against the computer printed on a computer?





The other way you can look at it is the Western economy functions only when there is growth in the economy (ie producing more and consuming more). Whenever this growth is static we call it a recession. So if we stopped consuming crap and stopped buying the latest versions of Windows and didn't think we needed an iPad or the latest trend in flourescent leggings the economy would be up shit creek without a paddle.

Then there are those people who are doing their bit, like me like you, like most of us. They're 'reducing their consumption' by only taking one holiday or driving a mini van with a 'I Care About The Planet' bumper sticker and buy organically raised pigs. Nice idea and all that but you're just skimming the top of the glacier my friend. And even if you're trying to reduce the mess in your back yard just take a trip to somewhere like India and see just how polluted their seas are due to the fact that they don't legislate for the dumping of toxic chemicals from the manufacturers who just produced your cute $5 t-shirt.

Never mind free speech ban naked cyclists

So I say consume consume consume. Or go live on a self sustaining farm. Because you can't be somewhere in the middle. And even if you are on a self sustaining farm without electricity unless everyone is doing it what's the point?

So what do you say? Is there any bleedin' point to those wacko schemes about 'turning off the lights on Tuesdays' or 'not buying designer jeans on Fridays.' Because to me it makes not one bit of sense!



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