Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Conversation about The Compact

The compact to not buy new things was a topic on KUOW Radio's "The Conversation" yesterday (February 26). A group of folks making a compact not to buy new things except for a few exceptions such as food. This can reduce consumption. They have a Yahoo group and so forth.

Interesting idea.

I haven't taken any pledge against new items, but I don't consume as much as most folks around me.

One caller worried that such movements could put folks out of work. Less consumption means less manufacturing and retailing.

Here is where we can connect two movements. There is a movement for "shorter work week." A quote I once saw said, "work less, buy less, live more fully."

Having a family can make downsizing more difficult. Kids are often influenced by peer pressure and advertising for shiny new products. They can become like "Trojan horses" residing in the household and bringing demands for things they see on TV or at friend's places.

Still, several callers with kids said that their children were understanding and going along with the program, so to speak.

My lifestyle is quite austere. I have no one's demands to worry about, but myself.

Being single has advantages.

Single living is be more the story of my lifestyle than being gay. While listening to that show, I checked my email and found this piece about how to tell you are gay.

Here are the 3 top items that came to view in that email.

You know you are gay if:

1. You wear appropriate underwear for each of your dates.
2. You understand the subtle differences between at least 20 brands of vodka.
3. You understand the immense importance of good (or bad) lighting.

Much of identifying with various strands of culture revolve around consumption. Whether you are an SUV driving "soccer mom," or a fashion conscious gay male, the stereotypical norms of our culture are often defined by the products we buy.

Here are some questions to ponder.

Does downsizing make one a loner in this culture?

Is being a loner necessarily bad?

Is having a nice car, clothing, furniture, living space a prerequisite for dating and being in a relationship (either gay or straight?)

Are there other ways of feeling connected besides being in a relationship; being the top catch for a date?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No, but I agree with you, buy less. I would not want to think that I could never buy anything new. First, I look in thrift stores for what I need. If they don't have it and I need it, then I buy new!