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!!

This Blog’s title and a collective noun for the consumer

This Blog’s Title

My first thought for a title to this blog was “consumerless”. I am a consumer, but I want to do it less. I had a quick look at what was available on blogspot and found a bit of an odd, but I think quite common, situation. (with an r) hosts an almost completely blank blog that is actually titled consumeless (without the r). Slightly confused, I looked at (without the r) and that is another blank blog with the title “Black Friday Blows”. At least this site has a title that suggests an anti consumerist sentiment….

So, with thanks to the people who swiped those blog names, I happily found the title of my site and prefer it to either of the other options!

Once the excitement of having a blog had subsided, I realised. Both of those other blogs were created by people who have an opinion on consumerism and, one expects, agree with doing less of it. In both cases the owner has created a blog, consumed a name and now owns a “thing” only to have not done anything with it. Classic case of hoarding. How many blogspot sites are created and empty?? One for another Diary entry me thinks??

Collective Nouns for Consumers

I wanted to create the collective noun for “Consumers” as I didn’t think that there was one. As always, I googled it to check. At first I only found pages stating that as “consumers” is plural, it is already the collective noun. That was of course, not satisfactory in the least. Our most heinous group must be describable in a more interesting way. I propose the collective noun for a group of consumers should be a grab or a hoard! I imagine a little huddle of people zipping around grabbing whatever they can, or the obvious hoarding tendencies.

Then I found a slightly more official website. no less! They list a Glut or a Cash. I like both if these. If I had to pick one it would be cash. I think that a glut usually happens to you (I’m thinking courgettes.) But lets you add your own suggestions. Now, thanks to this blog has made some new entries! You heard it here first. I added a grab, and a hoard of consumers. Immortalised on the internet for all to see… (If you can work out how to see all my contributions on the site, you will also find a rude one that has been created as a dedication to my Father. We invented a collective noun one day a long time ago, and it is now logged on the official site 🙂

Thank you and good night.


Oh fowl harpie of consumption. Two minutes after starting this blog and I have consumed!! I have fallen off the wagon and bought something.

Admittedly it is not book related. How could it be? How could my conscience survive if I had wandered from the path so soon after starting my journey? Never fear dear reader, it was music that has turned my head, and music that I know I will listen to again and again to thoroughly reclaim the £12 inc postage and packing that I have just paid.

“For what?” I hear you ask. Firstly, imagining that the internet is talking to me is a trifle odd. Especially when I have only told 3 people about this site so far! But you know, news travels fast, and I’m sure that people go back and read the dodgy first posts on really popular blogs, don’t they? Anyway, to answer the question, I just can’t get enough of Ben Howard (‘s music!), and there are signed copies of his new album up for grabs and priority access to his next tour, so you see, I kind of had to!

Link to Ben Howard flyer