22 September 2006

Living In The Material World

But its gonna take money
A whole lotta spending money
Its gonna take plenty of money
To do it right child

- "got my mind set on you"
george harrison

Does the world seem more material than it did thirty years ago? And by that I mean more materialist, consumerist, and Disnefied?

Friends who have gone to Cuba in recent years say one of its big attractions is the absence of McDonald's, Starbucks or any other Disnefied Culture. The absence of trademarks as a tourist attraction. Travel tip: Visit before Castro's funeral.

My step-daughter Cassie shops only at thrift stores now. So much detritus of the First World is simply items that have lost their consumerist allure (after all, once you get them home, they've been consumed) but none of their usefulness or objective attractiveness (or lack thereof - fashion being an often tasteless god). Though she draws the line at underwear.

Consumerism may be the greatest drug on earth; everyone it seems is in a constant, agitated, anxious state of wanting what they don't have, discarding what they just got, and getting high only in that moment of consumption - that split second after you taste the object of your desire. Then its in the bag, in you or on you. And like all junkies, the high gets harder to get and the habit harder to break.

Is it any wonder we'd rather spend a half a trillion dollars (and counting) on a war in the middle east rather than figure out how to live as a society that focuses less on what we've got and more on who we are?

We go to the Mall thinking we can buy our lives.

But all we do is sell our souls.



Daedalus said...

indeed, materialism is responsible for this mess of a war we are in, as opposition to it is the philosophy behind islamic extremism. materialism is also responsible for the increase in christian fundamentalism in america.

Anonymous said...

Testify, brother! I always enjoy the thought provoking posts you write...

Earth House Hold

Pamela J Weatherill said...

"Stuff-itis" is the name of the disease .... I suspect its in epidemic proportions ....