realitybites (13041)

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Journal of realitybites (13041)

Tuesday June 28, 05

I am feeling political at the moment.

08:01 PM

Another thing that irritates me is conspicuous consumption -- the consumption of goods for the sake of displaying wealth, power, or prestige to others.

It is described as a form of addiction arising from consumerism. But, also from productivism -- a system of production of excess unwanted goods, which must be consumed to justify continued production. It is considered by many social scientists to be a world health problem -- especially in developed nations.

I agree! And, trying to keep up with the Joneses is sure to make life frustrating, futile, and unfulfilling.

I laugh sometimes when I see people drop names of clothing designers or brand names. They are playing their roles as consumers very well. Capitalism loves them for it. Wearing Gucci is seen as a character trait rather than merely a fashion statement.

When I witness conspicuous consumption, I don't see happy individuals. I see people who are outwardly focused. They don't feel special for simply existing. Without their status props, they feel less than zero.

Conspicuous Consumption

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  • ...because I adore LV bags?...
    LizzieCat -- Tuesday June 28 2005, @11:04PM (#169033)
    (User #14284 Info)
    Mrs Forman
  • Jehne, I thought that you might be interested in the archaic phenomenon of Potlatch. I became intrigued at these customs, initially, through reading the essays of Georges Bataille.

    Codreanu <[email protected]> -- Wednesday June 29 2005, @12:30AM (#169041)
    (User #12052 Info |
    Let's do nothing about it!
    • Re:Potlatch by realitybites (Score:1) Wednesday June 29 2005, @02:32PM
  • You are *my* new best friend, now, Jehne. :)) Consumerism is at the very heart of my most sleepless nights. It has everything to do with why Gee Dubya is so loathsome, and it's probably got everything to do with every single major woe and quite a few of the minor woes of the world. :(

    We are all guilty of it, though. For me it's buying the coolest CD's and DVD's. For others it might be a Louis Vuitton. It's not really about the dollar amount per se. It's about that mentality. The Pokemon, "Gotta' Catch Them All" brew in which we've been been pickling since our respective births. I'm a big fan of old-time radio, and I've heard enough old commercials to know this form of advertising goes back at least to the 40's.

    Another Canadian connection for me is Adbusters: a magazine about counter-culture efforts to displace consumerism with other meaningful modes of living. It's written and published by Canadians: frequently using Canadian examples for stories, but aimed more squarely at US readers. The irony of liking the magazine, though, is that buying the magazine is itself a form of consumerism...and an expensive one at that. But there are only a few things I'd rather spend that money travel.

    In the meanwhile, I think that's *the* $64,000 question: how does one live in this material world without being materialistic? It's tough. I try to do it by analyzing my purchases. How much real joy will something add to my life? If the quotient is low, no go. (This excepts CD's from which I am quite un-immune :( )

    Anyway, I was quite tickled to read that post! :D
    alainsane -- Wednesday June 29 2005, @07:50AM (#169062)
    (User #460 Info)

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