I find myself growing ever more disgusted with the amount of garbage offered to us as “products” in the stores, on the shelves and as services in exchange for our hard-earned money. People have become voracious consumers. We’re no longer customers of products, we “consume”, like a thirsty cancer slowly consuming its host.
We don’t need as much “stuff” as we have, but our corporate overlords have force-fed us enough propaganda in television commercials, banner advertisements, newspaper and radio spots to lead us to believe we do. “That $499 iPhone you just bought last year? Why not throw that away and upgrade to the NEW iPhone 2.0 this year for a mere $299.00!”
Why? Why do we need to constantly upgrade things we already have, every 6 months or less?
I stumbled upon a site called “Story of Stuff” featuring stories and information by Annie Leonard which has a downloadable movie detailing how our society, our way of life in a linear path on a planet of finite resources, is running full-speed down a dead-end route.
One quote that jumped out at me was from retailing analyst Victor Lebeau, who helped shape our economy in the years after WWII:
“Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.”
Annie goes on to explain that 99% of the products we mine, process, buy and “consume” are thrown away into the trash in 6 months or less. Only 1% of our purchases actually survive more than 6 months. 1%!!!.
Here are three teaser videos from the site:
Here, Annie actually explains “Planned Obsolescence” better than I tried to do in a previous post:
I strongly recommend watching the full movie, if you’re at all concerned about how poorly our society is (mis)managing its resources.