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.