Saturday, November 24, 2012


The Thanksgiving orgy of consumerism is bringing out the Grinch in me. I bring you one story and two quotes it brings to mind.

(Reuters) -Gold Christmas tree for a mere $4.2 million in Tokyo  For those seeking a glow to their Christmas this year, a jewelry store in downtown Tokyo has just the answer: a pure gold revolving "tree" covered in Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Tinker Bell and Cinderella.

The tree-like ornament is made of 40 kg (88 pounds) of pure gold, standing about 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) high and 1.2 meters in diameter. It is decorated with pure gold plate silhouette cutouts of 50 popular Disney characters and draped with ribbons made of gold leaf. The price tag? A mere 350 million yen ($4.2 million).
Noam Chomsky 2003:
The goal for corporations is to maximize profit and market share. And they also have a goal for their target, namely the population. They have to be turned into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to develop what are called created wants. So you have to create wants. You have to impose on people what's called a philosophy of futility. You have to focus them on the insignificant things of life, like fashionable consumption. I'm just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Whose conception of themselves, the sense of value, is just: "How many created wants can I satisfy?
President Jimmy Carter 1979:
In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

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