Consumerism 101

A friend needed to give a lecture on consumerism and asked for some assistance. Following is a list of films, quickly composed off the top of my head. I thought I’d share it (listed in chronological order):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_jpG6kv6Pw

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ8mIVz_qW4

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm21JY7WhyY

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa3wyaEe9vE

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGi21YQFjMM

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eKYyD14d_0

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Ctt7FGFBo

 

Extra credit:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jplVjVz4GRo

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UErPxYZb0M

Where in Israel Can I Celebrate Buy Nothing Day 2008?

Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated every November by environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in over 65 countries around the world. Over the years, Buy Nothing Day has exploded into a global movement, inspiring the world’s citizens to live more simply and buy a whole lot less. The festival takes many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests, credit-card cut-ups and pranks and shenanigans of all kinds. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending. “It’s our culture of excess and meaningless consumption – the glorified spending and borrowing of the past decade that’s at the root of the crisis we now find ourselves in.” says the co-founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, Kalle Lasn, “A simpler, pared-down lifestyle – one in which we’re not drowning in debt – may well be the answer to this crisis we’re in. Living within our means will also make us happier and healthier than we’ve been in years.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uK0_jwyh_0

Tel-Aviv – 28/11/2008

10:00-15:00 – Meir Garden – 054-8119941 / 050-8361907
[singlepic id=103 w=200 h=80 float=right]Really Really Free Market
a time bank
companionship mats
DIY workshops

12:00-24:00 – Online – Lonely Boy Records’ free music downloads
13:00-15:30 – Hamedina square – 050-2005411 – Fur Free Friday
13:30-16:30 – Rabin square – 057-8165055 – Critical Mass Tel Aviv

14:30-17:30 – Salama st. by Washington st. – 03-6297734
[singlepic id=102 w=100 h=200 float=right]jam session
dumpster diving
15:30-18:30 – 50 Salama street – 03-6297734
Really Really Free Market
cruelty-free free vegan food
anti-consumerism films screening

Jerusalem – 28/11/2008

11:00-14:00 – Sergei’s Courtyard, 13 Heleni Hamalka street – 050-7717378 / 050-8434826
[singlepic id=104 w=200 h=60 float=right]swap market
Food Not Bombs
T-shirts DIY

Walking Without Excessories Is Like Walking Around Naked

In the last couple of years it became common practice for Israeli newspapers to stuff themselves with supplements which look at first like genuine newspaper addition, but are actually just advertisements posing as articles. This is an effort, I assume, to give the inherit deceitful nature of advertising an air of objective news coverage.

[singlepic id=9 w=150 h=230 float=right]There is one such monthly supplement about cell phone models, one about office equipment, and a few that feature an array of products, linking fashion trends with things you can purchase. A new supplement which fits the latter is titled: URBAN – GET A LIFE STYLE [sic].
When I first laid my hands on it I thought I was reading it wrong, as I myself often feel the uncontrollable urge to tell people searching for style to get a life – and so having the very source of evil inadvertently tell the same to its readers, thinking it is a clever play on words – well, that just brightened up my day.

I started flipping through the magazine and had to really fight my gag reflex. The pages were filled with pseudo-new-age mantras, one nauseating mantra before each of the magazine sections [emphasis and capitals theirs]: It’s not who you’re sleeping with BUT where in the lodging section, Food is like desire. It’s much better in a PRETTY package! in the dining section, It’s not who you’re talking to BUT what you’re talking with in the cell phones section, There are two ways to achieve HAPPINESS: Be in love or drink fine wine in the wine section, There’s electricity in the air GET IT! – yes, you guessed it – in the electrical appliances section.

And then I hit the mother lode in the accessories section:
[singlepic id=10 w=450 h=662 float=center]
You see, it is quite rare to be able to summarize a critique into a single sentence, much rarer to be able to summarize it to a single word – but to find one such word published by the very people the critique speaks against, well that is as close to force majeure as you can find.

Yes, excessories is exactly how I would spell the unnecessary daily purchases done by people trying to fill the void in their soul, and here it comes from the advertiser’s mouth. Oh! The humanity…

Epilogue:
When I first stumbled upon the website Engrish.com which meticulously documents the Japanese’s futile attempt at mastering the English language, I laughed so hard at ‘those stupid Japanese’. I assume this is exactly what non-Israelis do when they look at us, as we also show the same negative correlation between how cool the natives revere the English language and how poor their actual English-language skills are.