As the title implies, I identify myself as an anti-consumerist. I do not believe that the way in which the western world consumes is ecologically, or economically viable in the long term, and will inevitably lead to the coming of a second dark age. But, with that in mind, the hypocrisy that surrounds what I believe to be a scene really riles me up.
First of all, there are a few things that people I know, who identify themselves as anti-consumerists do:
- They consume. We have to, to live. It’s a fact. Yet, they act as though they do not, and proclaim the capitalist machine a devil
- They make no real effort to curb said consumerism, they simply talk about it
- They’re phonies!
Why I am an anti-consumerism?
For starters, they environment. I know, you’ve heard it all before (which is why this will be brief), polar bears are sun baking, pandas aren’t boning any more and the whales are being harpooned. Consumption of throw away goods like electronics, cheap clothing and jewellery, is very literally covering the planet.
With Carbon emissions all the rage now days, nobody seems to be talking about landfill – it is still a serious problem, and makes Pixar’s Wall-E futurism, and not fiction.
Secondly, the third world. China and India are essentially slave economies, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of sweat shops still in operation. This kind of exploitation of human beings I personally find grotesque.
How am I an anti consumerist?
This is going to make me sound like a grub, but; I own three pairs of pants (1xJeans 1x Shorts 1xSlacks), I have a lot of t-shirts, but I make them myself, I have five jackets (2xSnowboard, 2xCotton hoody 1xWorkwear), and then I have a lot of underwear and socks (pretty much the only thing I own a lot of… I draw the line at dirty undies). Most of which (underwear and socks excluded), came from thrift-shops.
I cook myself, grow my own food, and am working on getting chickens. If I need something new, I tend to make it from what I have laying around, rather than buying it. I believe the kids are calling it up-cycling now, but I like to think of it as “not wasting money on crap.”
In a given week, I really don’t buy anything but food. My laptop was the last real thing I purchased and that was 14 months ago (my old computer was 7 years old). With all that said, I don’t live a Spartan existence. I eat very well, my house is heated, and I consume a lot of literature (library) and cinema (digital).
The most important aspect of all of this, is it’s not a concious decision, and not something I talk about.
I don’t wake up in the morning and think “Mmmmm, this is a good day not to consume.”
I have to take a leaf out of Holden Caulfield’s book here and say most anti-consumerists are phonies! I have far too many people in my life that I call friends, whom you can’t speak to for more than twenty minutes without the conversation turning to some bullshit environmental issue, or ant anti-capitalist rant.
The worst thing is, these rants are usually spurred on by a complaint about the price of some inane object. Oh apple macs are too expensive, clothes are too cheap. For the love of… These same people brag about finding things in thrift stores. Because that’s some kind of achievement, in the X-box game of life; finding someone’s mouldy threads and barely paying for it some sort of badge of honour.
They constantly banter about housing and sustainability and yet in five years time they’ll have a kid, a mortgage and be just another cog… As will I. The difference being, I know this.
It’s like some childish idea of bohemia. “Naw, man, rock n’ roll will never die.” True, it won’t. You’ll just grow out of it, get a real job, reproduce, and get a house. It blows my mind that people can’t come to terms with this basic premise of normality. We’ve been doing it for millions of years, unless you’re a heroine addict, chances are you’ll be no different.
This probably didn’t make a lot of sense, sorry, but thanks for reading… Do you know any of these anti-consumerist phonies? Surely there must be at least one.
P.S. Buy the shit I make, haha!