In these troubled financial times the best thing one can do is turn off advertisers.
I won’t buy any sports shoes with some zillionaire jock’s name on them. Fuck-em they make way too much money as it is although I am well aware that they too are workers on the same plantation I am working on, not the owners of the shoe companies.
The same goes for not buying products because someone pushing them promises to donate a few pennies from the sale to some charity I might well support.
Living well does not mean owning every single freaking expensive toy under the sun while paying usurious interest rates on credit card bills one will still be paying when the toy has lost its shine.
Living consciously means weighing the cost in time and money versus the amount of benefit, pleasure and satisfaction one gains from the object purchased.
I didn’t used to have the problem with making those choices back when I was closer to my hippie roots. Some where along the line the combination of making purchases with plastic instead of cash coupled with the constant back ground drone of sales pitches dulled my ability to make conscious decisions regarding purchases.
Thanks to the economic and ecological crises the skill is coming coming back. Going home to my left wing radical hippie/crunchy dyke roots is helping me rediscover my values.
Getting back to DIY is another thing. Looking at what I want and perhaps doing it myself.
Last year I built a banjo. Building several musical instruments has been on my personal “Bucket List” since I was a hippie kid who had just started living as a woman for my RLE (as prescribed by Dr. B.). In reality I could have bought a banjo on e-bay for what I paid for the parts to build it. But then I wouldn’t have had the experience of building it.
I’ve had built 3 of my last 5 desktops. Even though I’ve listened to whole bunches of folks who have told me I would be happier with Apple the reality is you can’t build one yourself.
I’m on guitar lists and camera lists.
It seems that most people spend more time talking about the ultra expensive guitars or cameras and lenses they must have. When I was young I owned two different Martin guitars (not at the same time) much nicer than the one I own at present. Yet the one I own today cost about a quarter of what I would cost me to own a Martin like the ones I had when I was young. Yet the value to me is there.
The same goes for cameras. What I own today are not the most expensive yet they do what I need them to do.
Today in the New York times Financial section there is an article about running shoes. The gist of which is that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.
I’m going to write more about cost vs values and social impact, I’ve gotten back to an ecology of economy and how we are being turned into wage slaves in a way that is destroying both our lives and the life of the planet in order to enrich the wealthy elite oligarchs.
In the mean time I suggest reading article in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/health/23patient.html?_r=1&ref=business
For Running Shoes, It’s Fit First and Price Last
By LESLEY ALDERMAN
SHARON TANENBAUM has been a serious runner for six years. The Brooklyn resident, 30, has completed three marathons and several shorter races. Each week she logs about 20 miles.
Her favorite trainers? A $25 pair of Champion shoes she bought at Target.
“I like running in simple shoes,” she said. “The more you pay, the more unnecessary stuff you get.”
She is right. Money often buys higher-quality goods, but not when it comes to running shoes.
Over the last three decades, running has exploded as a leisure sport. In 2009, 476,000 runners completed a marathon. In 1976, the number was just 25,000. Sales of running shoes reached a record $2.36 billion in 2009, 60 percent more than a decade earlier.
But some of those dollars may not have been well spent. In 2007, Scottish researchers tested running shoes at three price levels, ranging from $80 to $150, and found that low- and midcost shoes within the same brand cushioned runners’ feet just as well as high-cost ones — sometimes even better.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/health/23patient.html?_r=1&ref=business
October 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm
I wore sports shoes for riding my bike way back when, they were my only shoes and came from a sports shop. Nobody else wore them and they were yet to be called trainers, they did the job were well made and affordable. I quit when they became the thing to wear!
I have never really given up my make do attitude to life. being born into bombed out Britain where things were rationed and you had to be resourceful and recycle or get nowhere has been ingrained in me since birth.
Apart from my liking an elegant mac to play with and they seem to last a long time so that fits my ethos, we are on the same track.
The annual festival of waste and debt will soon be upon us and I am starting to feel a little sick already. We have agreed to give each other gas for the heating and no need to gift wrap.
October 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm
I’m going to help the Christians restore Christmas to its original meaning. I don’t know where the present thing came from but I’m not decorating or giving gifts.
And because this supposed son of god was supposed to be Jewish we are going to practice the traditional Jewish Christmas ritual of eating Chinese food.