Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I Weep for this World

I was in Ross today--in the wrong checkout line. I always choose the wrong checkout line. It's uncanny. Not only did my checkout line have the world's worst cashier, but the person in front of me had an entire basket filled with a shitload of stuff. That should have been my first clue. I kid you not--it looked like she was buying stuff to open a store of her own. She bought hoodies and underwear and polo shirts--an entire assortment of really ugly clothes. And then there were ceramic knick-knacks (Seriously--those cows that pour milk or gravy? Does anyone really use those things?), baskets, a rack thingy and more clothes. Bags and bags of stuff. (For what it's worth, I bought a pair of track pants, a workout top and some gift bags...)

Now if my house burned down and I lost everything in the fire, I might need to buy a lot of stuff to replace it. But for sure it would be stuff I needed, stuff I would use. Ceramic cows? I think not. It was painful to watch all this crap being rung up and put into bags. And not just because I had been standing in line for what seemed like HOURS. But because most of the stuff she was buying was useless and ugly--and would probably end up in a landfill sooner than later.

And that's why I weep. Because no matter how sexy George Clooney makes "green" seem, no matter how scary Al Gore's truths are, no matter how high gas prices rise, Americans have been raised to be consumers and consume we must! Our entire economy is based on consumption. People stop buying "stuff" and the people who make the stuff and sell the stuff lose their livelihoods. There's a fundamental disconnect here and I haven't a clue how we're gonna resolve it.

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