Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some more thoughts on consumerism and buying nothing

Chuck's

I want to update slightly my recent blog post :: Some thoughts on consumerism and buying nothing :: with some further thoughts... hope you don't mind???
As I type this post on my Apple iBook... I am dressed in DC Shoes (white Uno model)... baggy Levi's... an orange Stussy tee... and CK boxers. I am listening to music through iTunes on Goodmans speakers, sitting on an IKEA chair with my iPod charging beside me. I have just checked the time on my Casio G-Shock watch [20th anniversary ltd ed in stainless steel]... sipped Tetley's tea from a mug with Donald Duck printed on it... and searched in my Manhattan Portage messenger bag for my Moleskine notebook and Bic 4 colour pen.
I wanted to clarify this statement...
  1. My Apple iBook is a 1.33ghz powerpc G4 - its a few years old and still going strong. Its running Leopard nicely and I don't feel the need to upgrade just yet.
  2. The DC Shoes [Uno model] were purchased in the TKMaxx in Inverness for £15.
  3. The baggy Levi's are 5 years old... and were a gift from Boyd for being the Usher at his wedding to the mighty Lorraine.
  4. The orange Stussy Tee was a gift from an old friend [who I miss] who brought it back from a trip to Miami (even though it says TOKYO on it)
  5. The CK boxers were a vice of mine [want to look good for Olly] but I've gotten over it.
  6. The Goodmans speakers are more than 11 years old and were a gift.
  7. The IKEA chair is 1o years old [bought when Olly and I got married]
  8. The iPod is a 80gb 5th gen that I bought last year in Philly for £60 less than I would have paid in the UK.
  9. The Casio G-Shock watch was a gift from Olly 5 years ago... and she assures me she got it discounted.
  10. Tetley's Tea - don't know how much one bag is.
  11. Donald Duck mug was free... I think.
  12. The Manhattan Portage bag was bought in TKMaxx in Inverness for £15 or so.
  13. My Moleskine notebook was a gift from Olly last Christmas.
  14. The Bic 4-colour pen was about £1... I think.
a) I like bargains...

As I wrote in the previous post... I can think for myself. Obviously, I'm not totally original... but I try to be inspired by right thinking... and try to avoid the dictates of an industry based on consumption and greed. [Note - I try... Its not easy, by any means.]

In trying to think for myself, I seek to subvert the fashion industry > my favourite shop is TKMaxx > its a discount shop that sells "out-of-season" names. By refusing to buy "the latest thing" I do my bit to get out of the cynical cycles of the industry. In turn, by shopping in Charity Shops... I do my bit for the charity and continue to refuse to adhere to normative patterns of consumption.

Think about it> shop local... shop discount... shop 2nd hand... these are ways we can have an impact. We don't need to pay full price for the latest thing.

b) I cherish gifts...

I cherish gifts... I love it when people spoil me with sweet stuff (remember - I am a consumer and I dig well designed kit). I appreciate the thought that goes into a gift and treasury what I am given.

I acknowledge the fact that the gifts are an expression of love and caring... but I also appreciate the love regardless of the gift > the love transcends the gift. Sometimes the most important gift is time... or a text... or a coffee together. I realise this now... after all these years > its the thought thats the most precious.

I also appreciate my surroundings... my place in creation... the urban space I work in and the suburban space I live in. Its about walking barefoot in the sand... as much as it is about having a sweet pair of kicks.

c) I am careful with my money...

I have a responsibility as a husband, father and provider to pay the bills. Olly [thank God!!!] helps to pay for all the good stuff. As a result... I am careful with any money I have > I try to focus on what I need now... rather than what I want/desire/drool over.

My hobby and my sport is music... listening to music... and that's my big thing. Even so... I am a big "bargain bin" raker > with some success, if I may be so bold.

That said... I'd rather spend money on a coffee with a good friend.

Stewardship [being careful with what we have] is important and something lost in the mess of consumerism. Stewardship says "you have what you need" when Consumerism says "buy more... more often!"

Its about thinking before acting> Do I need this? Is it the best product for my money? Can I get it cheaper? Are their more suitable alternatives? Why do I want to buy this product?

d) I don't judge a book by its cover... even though I can see how much it costs.

I believe that God looks on the inside rather than the outside. To this end... whats inside is more important to me than my physical appearance. I might spot some nice product when I am out and about but I don't think anymore about that person other than "he's / she's got taste". Judging people by what we have or look like is wrong.

This world places value on appearance > the gangrenous hierarchy of the rich and powerful is defined by its conspicuous greed and consumption. Reject this notion. It pervades our churches and gatherings > the very places that should be an oasis in this storm. What I have doesn't make me more or less anything > please judge me by actions, reactions and my choices. Do not judge me on what I have... or, more importantly, don't have.

Afterall... Jesus was homeless! Think about it.

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