Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday, Purple Saturday

Well, here we are, less than 24 hours past our consume-by date, and we are back in the spending saddle again. Yeeee-haaawwwww! Sales on the horizon, discounts at the Mall!! Hot damn!!!! Gotta get me one of them, two of those, ten more of these, and happily sell my soul to the VISA Demon. And why not? We'll all be dead by 2012, give or take a billing cycle, anyway.  And yet, I can't help feeling we've forgotten something...

Could it be frugality?  MMMMMMM, nah. Or possibly a "lesson" from the past few years of spending dangerously? [snicker} Riiiihgt. Mmm - no. Gee, I'm stumped.

See, if I only spend within "my means," whatever the hell that means in this Great American Consumer Society that is the Envy of all other Capitalistic "democracies," well, the whole damn house of cards might collapse,  and well, we can't have that now, can we? If I suddenly stop being controlled by my credit score, if I stop buying with my credit cards, if I start asking that seditious question, "do I  really need all this stuff," well, you just KNOW They are going to send out the Thought Police pronto. Oh, yes, shut that boy up!!!

Because lets face it, folks. This whole shebang hinges almost exclusively on everyone's continuing to buy the Lie, that we are only as good as our last purchase, that our lives are empty and meaningless without more stuff. Jobs will be lost, banks will fail, billionaires will cry, and well,  we just can't have that.

There is this belief we have perpetuated in this country, and of course made every kind of effort to foist upon the rest of the world, that growth is everything. GDP is a measure of growth, not sustainability. Consumer Confidence is measured by how much consumers are spending compared to some point in the past, i. e., growth vs. stasis or retrenchment. And yet, growth without sustainability is an excellent description of..... wait for it....cancer. We are arguing about Global Climate Change without daring to talk about the actual driver of the phenomenon itself - population growth, which has become a cancer to the planet's future. How can we expect to actually address a problem we can't bear to talk about in the first place? Because to talk about the population question, just as talking about the religious belief in growth as the raison' d'etre of our economic existence, is to violate so many beliefs in so many quarters we risk shutting out most of the world.

Essentially, because we fear beliefs tightly ensconced in superstition and fundamentalist certainty, we would rather allow our  economy, and by what should be a clear extension, the very health and viability of the planet to run headlong off the cliff, taking us all with it.

Well, that sure will solve the population problem, won't it?

Truth is, folks, we have no chance in hell of "growing" ourselves out of this problem.We are going to have to do the one thing the human race has never done before: We are going to have to choose between our beliefs, and the facts. And what are the odds we will actually make the right choice?

Well, I ain't holding my breath, ya dig?

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