Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bland Consumption

Foto Found Here
My own personal season of buying continues its pace unabated.  I have not spent so much Monopoly Money since that one Steven Alan scraps sale a few years ago, and that pales in comparison.  Added to a new laptop computer (purchased a couple months ago) and a new Marc Andreini Vaquero (apparently he started shaping it yesterday) last night I added a brand new Patagonia 3mil wetsuit.  I am nearly done.  Only one fancy digital camera with accoutrements to tack on.  I tell myself it is all for the now, all for the future, all for art, all for productivity, all for creativity, all in an attempt to coalesce the interests and passions of my life into a powerful, self-improving ball of joy. No matter what the purpose, no matter how much I paint my justifications justified, I hate being a consumer.

People are trained- and massive efforts go into this- people are trained to perceive their identity and their aspirations and their value as people in terms of the things they amass.  Nothing else. And in terms of yourself, not anyone else... It's kind of interesting to watch the campaign against Social Security going on, and to see the attitudes.  I see it even among students.  And the reason certain people hate Social Security so much is not just that if you privatize it, it's a bonanza for Wall Street.  I'm sure that's part of it, but the main reason for the real visceral hatred of Social Security is that it's based on a principle that they want to drive out of people's heads- namely, that you care about somebody else... No. what you're taught from infancy is that the only choices you're supposed to make are choices of commodities.  It's none of your business how the government works or what the government policies are or how the community's organized or anything else.  Your job is to purchase commodities.
-  Noam Chomsky, 2004


ras said...

thanks for this post. as much as I'd like to think that I try and simplify I am not different than anyone else. at least now I contribute to the health care of my fellow citizens through my taxes ( I live in Canada).

the question I always end up with is this: is the idea that we should all be striving for humanist values just a romantic notion? or are things the way they are that's that?

Toddy said...

I can only post to this post in response:

But yeah, I dunno. I am in the system, the stream. I work in advertising even, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. And as much as I prefer to look at what I do for a living as a craft, sometimes an art, the cold reality is that I am performing it to receive moneys from people selling needless junk to other people.
Were I to make a radical change, would I really be making a radical change? To what effect?
And then we get back to your initial question.

Toddy said...

Ah, that link don't work, but it was a few days ago. The post with the ukulele video.