Re: MD HELP - Consumerism, homogonisation and the degregation of quality

Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 02:00:53 BST

evolve, you've got something there in that last post. a lot of those
statistics are mind-blowing and i think they force people to stop at look at
themselves as people and as a society. growing up in the us, i had the same
materialistic views forced upon me... my dad is a doctor, my parents want me
to be one too, otherwise, 'how can i support a family?' i was lucky to have
one of the greatest world history teachers ever when i was 14 (3 years ago),
who helped me see through empty consumerism and the american capitalism
philosophy of 'get what you can, step on whoever you need to step on to get
there.' one thing he pointed out about the advertising industry is that they
try to weaken you as a person. eg, one hair growth pill with a voice
announcing: 'so... you're bald. why don't you just give up your manhood?'
then, when they break you down, they offer the solution, which is of course
the hair growth pill. there's another similar one for females about sagging
breasts, with the line, 'dont forget your responsibilites you have for your
husband.' and im sure you can see where that one goes. anyway, i told my
friends to give me a nice kick in the throat if they ever see me wearing
abercrombie and fitch or gap any of the other manifestations of the pop
culture coup. people will oppose school uniforms here as if they were
fighting for their life, but they can go ahead and wear some ridiculous
looking old navy vest or shoes that rise a foot above the ground, only
because other people have them. the only way to rise above pop culture is to
cultivate a sense of self-worth, which is a difficult commodity to come by
with so much advertising, and a virtue by all means. today we have fast
everything- cars, computers, microwaves. we initially dont want these
things, but when society offers them to us, we shrug our shoulders and say,
'why not?' and then pretty soon we can't live without them. all that
materialism and restiveness breaks down the mind by simply giving it less
time to spend in contemplation and by breaking down the attention span.

and, like you said, schools concentrate on teaching kids math and science,
the two areas that have the most jobs. this started in the 50s, during the
cold war, when president eisenhower was afraid of war with the soviets. he
wanted more engineers who knew how to build bombs and scientists to advance
technology to beat those stinkin' russians in the space race and everything
else. so, he started gifted programs and gave math and science the most
prestige, and the trend hasnt changed. think of how it would be different if
a president instead decided upon art, music, or philosophy to hold the most
esteem in schools? these things help people discover the self, but are
usually the handmaidens of math and modern science, the stuff of the 'real

anyway, just another statistic for everyone: americans waste more food than
any other country on earth and recycle the least. thanks for broaching this
topic, evolve, and keep thinking, no matter how much society pressures you
not to do so.


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