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Listening and Thinking

August 13, 2009


I use a graphic often, but didn't have one, so I made this one.

This is one of those mornings when I’ve sent myself into a bit of a funk. Listen to one review, compare it to something else I’ve heard, and I wonder if the nation is full of idiots, all shouting at once. We’ve surely reached a point where the lowest common denominator doesn’t realize they’re shilling for special interests who keep making money because they can delude enough people most of the time. Health reform, economic reform, consumer attitudes, they’re all tied together. 

Democracy is a fine idea, but tied in with Capitalism, I’ve never been surprised that this combination scares much of the rest of the world. They crave it, but know it isn’t at all good for them. Arran Gare told us how it works more than a dozen years ago. From my reading and listening this week:

So we sit, overweight and out-of-shape in our crowded houses, awash in stuff, a lot of it that someone bought cheap, or got free, or inherited. Sorting out what is usable, durable, and worthwhile, and dispatching the rest of it is a philosophical problem. Go to any grocery or dollar store and you’re looking at a sea of cheap shit that someone ordered for other people to buy. All of that plastic should be melted down and made into park benches or planks or something durable and useful, and we need to stop this cheap plastic circulation. People fight wars over oil, and oil is what goes into this plastic. People buy cheap furniture and once it looks ratty they don’t reupholster it, they toss it on the curb to go to the dump. The dumps are filled with wood and metal and plastic and fibers that all should be recycled, not buried.

We get what we ask for. Too bad so few people know WHAT they really want and how to ask for it. The Story of Stuff: Long version (21 min)  Short version (11 min)

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