Friday, November 26, 2010


I didn’t quite succeed in the Buy-Nothing Day effort; I spent money on some hand lotion, a tube of superglue, and a cup of coffee; however, I did manage to make it all the way through the afternoon without driving my SUV to the mall to stock up on flat-screen televisions and portable DVD players.

Sorry, economy, I realize I’m not doing my part; maybe if Wal-Mart starts putting lugged steel-frame bikes on deep discount, I’ll get up at 4:00 in the morning to start shopping by 5:00. The good news anyway, is that at least no one, as far as I know, got stampeded to death yet this year; perhaps that’s a sign that human nature, if not consumer confidence, is improving.

I did roll around downtown and through Capitol Hill just for fun and maybe with half a thought to burn off a few of yesterday’s mashed potatoes and I can’t say that it seemed very zooey; people were carrying shopping bags to be sure, but I didn’t get a sense of any real consumerist frenzy; granted, I dared not venture into H&M, for example, although pedaling past, I could tell that it wasn’t all sardines inside.

It’s a tragedy, of course, that so many people’s jobs and livelihoods depend on an endless cycle of so many other people being engaged in an endless cycle of supercharged consumption; Annie Leonard, among others, has pointed out that in addition to destroying the planet, it’s not really making us happier, either. What’s weird is that, at some level, everyone knows this, but it doesn’t stop people from getting on the treadmill, anyway.

And I guess I shouldn’t talk; I’d love me a brand-new iPad, if I could more easily afford one.

Still, it’s not as if my continued happiness depends upon my ability to purchase something new; I’m reasonably satisfied with all the stuff I already own and still have half a six-pack left over from yesterday.


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