April 18, 2020

Consumerism: The Shine Is Off, The Thrill Is Gone



People liked being able to fly where ever they want whenever they want. It was easy and cheap and kind of fun. That may be changing.

In the beginning, most all of the coronavirus infections could be traced to one specific group of people. 

Travellers. 

Herding more and more people into smaller and smaller spaces, then blasting them across the planet together is what you would do if you actually wanted to spread disease farther and faster than ever before in human history.

Travellers are the new typhoid Mary's, spreading any new virus far and wide, and all the while refusing to stop, because unlimited pointless travel is what our "freedom" has been reduced to, along with the "freedom" to buy whatever, whenever.

Cheap flights and consumer goods are the only things that have been democratised since the 1920s. Everything else has been de-democratised.

If this virus lockdown ever passes, will people fly for non-emergency reasons ever again, to willingly become the next super spreaders? 

All in exchange for being poked and prodded and rubber gloved, then crammed into a flying tube petri dish, or on a massive floating petri dish, for transportation to the far reaches of the globe. 

For what? 

Another foreign distraction to an exotic place where the locals would rather that you stayed home and terrorized your own neighbourhood.

As former consumers continue to stay home, they will slow down enough to contemplate what has been going on for the last 100 years. Ugly truths will arise, and the shine will come off of a large part of pre-pandemic life.

Many of the things we did and believed and accepted as "normal" in pre-times, will look much differently in the post-times New Order.

The cheap, easy, and meaningless international travel sector is likely to lose its lustre early.

Demand destruction is the rule of the day right now. Many things that should, will simple fade away. Consumers will have moved on, and will be consuming something else. Something more local, and probably, more food-like.

The shine is not only off travel, it is coming off consumerism overall, and fast. That and everything else.

Those who currently and erroneously think they are in charge, will be lucky if in our upcoming collective introspective moments, we don't also dull to the idea of returning to slaving for them while they simultaneously destroy our standard of living for personal gain.

What if they threw an "Open The Economy" party and the majority chose to opt out and stay home?

They can bedazzle this crisis, that crisis, and the next crisis all they want, but the fact remains - the thrill is gone.

It's not worth it, consumerism.

We want to break up. Really. 

It's not us, it's you. You're toxic and abusive, and destroy everything good that you lay your greedy hands upon.

If you were an actual, breathing person you would be in jail. Or rehab. Or the hospital. Or mental institution. Or Community Justice speaking circle.

Or more likely, six feet under.

Your light has gone out. You have imploded into a great black (sucking sound here) hole from which nothing in your orbit escapes intact.



Consumer Capitalism? 

The People called to say,

"Thank you for your service. 

We'll take it from here."




It is going to be hard work, but then we will be able to actually enjoy life in a way that is not as harmful to the planet and all its inhabitants.






12 comments:

  1. I do understand where you are coming from but unfortunately bills have to be paid. Rent, water, gas, electricity, food, insurance etc. To do that people need to work and sadly most would need a car to get to work. Public transport is woefully inadequate and many people don't even have a garden so couldn't grow enough food to feed their family.

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    1. It is super difficult for us to think of other possible ways of getting services/goods to the people. We have been brainwashed to think that capitalism is "the only way" of providing for what we need. But it is not.

      Now is the time for us to think BIGGER. If capitalism is the only way of doing things, then we must prepare for eventual destruction of the ecosystem and eventual collapse, because that is the logical outcome.

      I haven't heard too many viable alternatives, but of course they exist. Cooperatives are one such example. Linda and I lived in an extremely well-run housing coop for 10 years. It was the best community we have ever experienced, and ran successfully for decades now as a non-profit organization that was only interested in providing safe, affordable housing for the people. In that regard it was 100% successful.

      We would still be living there if we didn't move away from the city.

      Watch for things to change. It will be good, but it won't be easy. How we work, transport ourselves and our goods, how we provide our food, and more will be radically changed by this viral event.

      Maybe simple living will "go viral". Consumer capitalism would hate that, so it must be good.

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    2. Change will be amazing. I gave up my car twenty years ago and used public transport to get to work or walked everywhere. My hubby needs a car to get to work but now realises since being on lockdown that we pretty much only ever use the car together to food shop. We have now discovered a local supplier that will deliver fruit and veg boxes (not organic but very fresh) A little shop just around the corner sells fresh milk. I am well able to make bread and once I master making pasta we will rarely need to use a supermarket This lockdown will change how many people shop and live. It's lovely to see couples and families out walking together. I bet they had never taken a walk in the neighbourhood before.

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    3. One way through the coming disruptions will be to be as local and independent of the crumbling system as possible. As individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities. It sounds like you are in a good spot for this to happen, and that is great.

      Mutual aid with people supporting people in ways that we used to and still should will return, and is already evident in many places around the globe. Some very nice stories of solidarity coming out of this horror show.

      We also have seen whole families out walking in our neighbourhood, something we have not seen before. Maybe they have been to Disneyland, but have never explored their own immediate area. Wonderful.

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  2. It feels as though this pandemic should be the start of a huge change for how we live- for the better- as we realise what’s important, adapt to enjoying being at home, appreciate simple things, realise that working from home is actually possible....etc.
    However, I have a feeling that we’ll all spring back to ‘normal’ as soon as we can. (Well, perhaps not all but the vast majority). I hope I’m wrong about that!

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    1. They want to get us back to "normal" as soon as possible. But was normal all that great for the vast majority of people?

      The global wide protests against the old New Normal indicated that a large part of the population is not happy with business as usual. The tide has gone out for us. Now the rising tide floats all multi-million dollar yachts.

      Of course, the virus took care of all those messy anti-system skirmishes. How convenient. I don't think the new New Normal they are planning and implementing will be any better than the old.

      We can spring forward right now, instead of allowing them to spring us back.

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  3. If anything good comes out of this nightmare, and something good will come out, it always does. People are seeing that more free time is fun and they really can get by on less. Maybe if this lasts another couple of months more lessons will be learned.

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    1. Yes. Will be so interesting to watch moving forward... if we move forward.

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  4. I hope so much for these changes, for people to take a hard look at what we had, whether it actually benefited us, and whether (as we do without) it was really ever necessary.

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    1. "Whether it actually benefited us, and whether it was really ever necessary."

      SO much didn't, and wasn't.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Here in Oz airlines are asking the government for bail outs and they are predicting the cost of flying to go way up. Hooray to that I say! We are also seeing many more people walking in our neighbourhood, people we have never seen before. Also many dogs out for a walk who had obviously been stuck at home whilst their humans toiled all day at work. I hope these people realise they were subjected to an un-natural and inhumane life schedule before and refuse to go back to it.

    Did everyone see the flocks of birds flying over Beirut, and the little tree frogs who are coming back? It is so heartening to see them take back their own space now that the roads are quiet.

    Madeleine

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    1. So much wildlife coming out in our absence. It didn't take long, either.

      I have noticed the lack of jets flying overhead, creating less noise and fewer contrails. It seems quieter overall. A hush, if you will, has descended. Nice.

      We are seeing more of our neighbours (at a distance) than ever before.

      A regular work schedule is un-natural and inhumane, and we are due for a massive change in this area. Perhaps it is time to consider a global universal basic income, so that all humans can have access to the basics of life. They can't say we can't afford it any more if they can afford endless bailouts.

      Delete

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