Aug 282011
 

In a comment today Paul Lester linked to a video on “The Story Of Stuff“. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you head over and spend the 21 minutes. It’s nothing really new, but it is an excellent presentation about why our current system of production and consumption does not work and can not work.

Two things are especially important to always keep in your mind:

Advertising is meant to make you unhappy with what you have and are. Don’t let them do that to you. They waste your life and even let you pay for it.

The other important thing is, that the consumption-oriented media machinery completely hides all parts of the production/consumption/waste chain with the exception of the consumption part. You almost never see how things get produced, you don’t see the toxic waste emitted during processing and you don’t see the waste that all those goods become in the end. You don’t see how workers suffer and how our artificially low prices are subsidized at the expense of the countries and people who provide the raw materials and do the low level processing. Media always present you nothing but the limitless options for buying and the artificial happiness of the moment of consumption.

While being in the Czech Republic, I had the opportunity to see one of the few coal mining areas left. In Germany they have already filled most of them up with water, created artificial lakes. Exploitation and destruction of the landscape, that’s another thing we’ve managed to shift to the Third World.

This image was taken near the town Sokolov. This is a panorama stitched in Photoshop from six exposures. You really have to look at the original size of around 25 megapixels. It’s not a pretty picture, but impressive nevertheless.

The Song of the Day is “That’s Enough Of That Stuff” from Marcia Ball’s 1985 album “Hot Tamale Baby”. Hear it on YouTube.

  One Response to “1774 – That’s Enough Of That Stuff”

  1. Certainly not a pretty picture. But here in the USA, we do have a few TV channels that are devoted to telling us how things are made and what these manufacturers are doing to lessen their impact on the environment. They also have other programs about how things like tires and cars are recycled. I don’t mean retreads and restoring old cars. I mean how discarded cars are crushed and how the various metals and plastics and other substances are extracted and put to good use to make other things, including more cars. The tires are mostly synthetic rubber now and are also being recycled to make housing materials, insulation, mulch, etc.

    So the picture isn’t as bleak here in the USA as you see it in Europe, Andreas.

    There are also programs to show us the products we can use to make our homes and vehicles more energy efficient. It’s a slow process right now, but as the word gets out, more and more people will demand more efficient ways of doing things. Manufacturers will follow where the demand is.

    But you are so right about how advertising is designed to make us want more and more “stuff.” This year I’m buying only food, gasoline, and products I use in my house for cleaning, etc. All the manufacturers hope that more people won’t start ding like I am doing, lol.

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