Sunday, 21 October 2007

down the toilet

Plans for last week along with the contents of my stomach approximately an hour after each morsel of food consumed. It's been almost a full week since gastro hit and it really hasn't gone. Tiresome.

But I've been meaning to post anyway, if only because I really wanted to respond to being tagged by Nichola. The meme is simple, but it was the post that accompanied it that really struck a chord. Over consumption is an issue that occupies a lot of my brain space. Over consumption and stuff.

The great big cars, the great big houses (requiring long commutes, lots of petrol, more roads...), the giant TVs (in every room of the house), the seven refrigerators, the new outfit of clothing for each day of the week, the 100 pairs of shoes, the miles of plastic packaging for every snack bite of food, the 25 minute hot water showers, heating and air con in every room.

It just seems like people have gone mad for consumption in a way that I find incomprehensible. And this has happened in my lifetime. When we were kids no one lived in mansions except really rich people, I hardly knew anyone with air con or central heating or a clothes dryer or two cars or more than one TV. We never had glad wrap because it was too expensive and too wasteful. We hardly ever bought packaged foods. As kids we had a fraction of the number of toys even the most hard up kids have now.

How can people ignore the inevitable logical end to all this?

You know all this, no one needs to hear me say it all over again.

Reducing consumption is mostly a matter of choosing to work harder - to grow the veggies, to walk to the shops, to make the dinner, to sew the clothes, to scrub the floors - and choosing to resist the fetishisation of leisure and affluence - the latest fashions, the biggest TV, the best new car, the latest flavour, satisfying every whim when it comes.

Go without, settle for second best, make do, look for life's joy and meaning by doing the living, not trying to own life. Even if you grew up poor.

Whew, fired up alright.

Now onto the meme -

You have to open the book you're currently reading on page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag with.

Wow! I made it through the night without dying.

I was going to give you a line of crochet instruction, but my block bible finished before page 161 so you have to settle for a little optimism Buddhist style.

I can't bring myself to tag, but please take up the meme if you'd like and let me know!

As you can see Amy continues to explore the self portrait genre to great effect.

Wil watched while Amy hit another milestone, her yellow belt at Akido. Proud as. I'll spare you the video.
Argh. Pray for good health.


Linda said...

"Having once learned to expect intimates to behave in a certain way, they assume it will always be like this." from "They F*** You Up - How to survive family life by Oliver James. (basically the old nuture v nature debate and written to an audience)
The most interesting thing about this book is the fact that my own daughter gave it to me to read!

kneek said...

I'll trade you mine if you trade me yours - aikido video that is. My daughter loved aikido last year. Earning her yellow belt was such a milestone. We quit for the summer and haven't started up again, but it was super while it lasted. Her confidence jumped 100%, and her coordination too.

Jodie said...

Oh poor sooz, I'll put the kettle on and make you a cup of cyber tea if you can keep it down. Be nice to yourself this week, take it slow

h&b said...

I recently ragged about water wastage and overconsumption, but we're trying to do our best in other areas too.

We're a one-car family, and one of the requirements of our house-choice was the proximity to shops so I may walk.

I grew up shit-poor, shamefully so, and I resented my parents and their 'walk everywhere, grow your own veges, and divert the bathwater onto the garden' ways. We didn't even have carpet. I refused to have friends over.

But here I am today, doing many of the things we did back then. I guess I appreciated more than I thought ...

Janet said...

hear, here.

There is just too much stuff in the world. And yet we just keep churning it out!

hope you're better.

Kate said...

The games I remember most vividly from my childhood are the ones that didn't require toys at all - or where toys were abandoned in favour of bits of leaves or flowers (my poor grandma's garden!) This despite the fact that my cousin had buckets and buckets of toys. I didn't, but had just as much fun with what little I had - almost more, since I had to make up the stories, etc, rather than having them handed to me.

I don't have a car - mostly because I don't drive. can't, technically. I don't have a license, and although it's something I want to get, a car isn't, at least not for a while yet. I don't need one. i get around fine. I get quite cross when people talk about 'you'll need a car like this, etc'. I think they are confusing what they think they need with what I need. I *don't* need a car. Not yet.

I went shopping for the first time in ages on the weekend - as in, wandering around the shops, rather than nip in to grab something, or food shopping. It was hateful. I'm so glad I craft and can make a lot of these things!