The Story of Stuff

I’ve got a few bits and pieces to report, but none of them ground breaking. I have committed to reading more, so The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist is being gnawed away steadily. I had a major disagreement with my Kobo device as it decided not to update where I had got to! It has done this before, so my love of it is waning. I usually read on my phone anyway as I always have it with me.

The main reason for this post is to provide a link to a video called the story of stuff. This is a video that I found on the only blog in my blogroll so far; Post-Consumer Life. I am grateful for their help finding it. The video is quite full on, but while I usually don’t pull the hard line on subjects like this, I found that there isn’t much of the video that you can disagree with.

As I find out more about anti consumerism it appears that the same basic arguments are used in this and the ecological debates, and they are valid for the same basic reasons. The story of stuff states that consumerism is the driving force behind the industry that requires us to break the planet. Quite a bit of the issues raised in the story of stuff could be resolved in a slightly idealistic future where we can create the things we need in a way that doesn’t produce harmful chemicals and exploit nature and other people. Still, the video servers as a good aid to removing the blinkers of our first world existence and at least showing us the reality of our actions. What we choose to do with this knowledge is up to us.

When I started the blog I was concerned that I would find a more serious side to anti consumerism. My blinkers were already off, but over the past few days I have found a renewed interest in not wanting to use packaging, not wanting to get cups of tea when out, etc. Yet in the same way as ecological issues, there is a line of action and each person find where they fit on it; full on tree hugger or concious consumer. And more than that, it’s a complicated business. If I don’t buy a fair trade cup of tea when out, but take a flask of tea with me that is made using tea from a super market, made with mass produced milk, how does that stack up??? How does consumerism see the same situation? I *think* that the solution is to buy ethically produced food at home and when you are out. So does that make this an ecological debate, an anti-consumer debate or a ethical debate, or are all 3 intrinsically linked.
A unified philosophy. Be nice, respect other people. It’s the playground rules that will resolve global issues!!

I’m also very aware from post consumer life blog that one person’s changes don’t solve world issues. On the other hand, talking about why you do it just might! I have a feeling that this where the story of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist is also taking me. Its changing the understanding of a lot of people that is the problem, or put another way, if you accept the system, you support the system.


Have I found a way to keep myself to a path to read the books I don’t get round to, or have I unexpectedly found something else that brings together other more ecological views that I have previously held.

And there was me worrying that I might find a more serious side…
p.s. I have also decided that I will not announce that a post will be short when I start each one, just so I can write half a book and contradict myself!!
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