"Buy green, buy fair, buy local, buy used, and most importantly, buy less." So says Annie Leonard, creator of the new on-line 20-minute video, The Story of Stuff.
Professional organizers see a huge amount of stuff - stuff that overwhelms people's homes, offices, and lives. So The Story of Stuff seemed like something I ought to watch, and I'm glad I did.
Here's a brief quote from the script:
Shortly after the World War II, these guys were figuring out how to ramp up the [U.S.] economy. Retailing analyst Victor Lebow articulated the solution that has become the norm for the whole system. He said: “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.”
And President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors Chairman said that “The American economy’s ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods.”
MORE CONSUMER GOODS??? Our [economy’s] ultimate purpose?
Not provide health care, or education, or safe transportation, or sustainability or justice? Consumer goods?
And one more quote:
Each of us in the U.S. is targeted with more than 3,000 advertisements a day. We each see more advertisements in one year than people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime. And if you think about it, what is the point of an ad except to make us unhappy with what we have. So, 3,000 times a day, we’re told that our hair is wrong, our skin is wrong, clothes are wrong, our furniture is wrong, our cars are wrong, we are wrong but that it can all be made right if we just go shopping.
Here's a little one-minute teaser video; click either arrow to play it.
[For those of you reading this in e-mail: If the embedded video doesn't work, you can watch the video directly on YouTube.]