Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Other Obstacle, People

It seems the biggest obstacle to keeping green (compact) is not my own will but rather the reactions of those around me. Whenever I think I need something, like toys for my puppy (that I know I cannot buy), friends would say, "hey, you signed up to fight consumerism, your dog did not". Or worst still, "would hate to be you, got three cool tops this weekend". There has been lack of support and at times, full on taunting. Simply by choosing not to buy anything new in 28 days, I'm all of a sudden that odd freaky one. Should I judge people's behavior though? If you think about it, it's over 50 years of embedded consumer culture created by the US government post WWII and supported by industry through aggressive advertising and mass production (Featherstone). Consumer culture, like anything else in society and media in general, has a way of seeping into our very being. I akin the success of such campaigns to notions of standard beauty. When did the white blond woman become the standard beauty amongst people of color? As Bell Hooks and Peggy McIntosh may explain it, it has very much to do with the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist, hetoro-normativity in our society. It is those in society that prescribe to this thinking that are allowed to produce. Their products are meant to appeal to their own kind but has successfully seeped into all other segments of our society. Impose evil master plan and watch the hapless drones obey: check!

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