10/27/2008 at 1:58 pm (thoughts)

Also in the recent issue of Geographic, there is an article about the Tarahumara people of Mexico.

The article starts out like this:

The Tarahumara of Mexico evaded Spanish conquerors in the sixteenth century. But can they survive the onslaught of modernity?

And it got me to thinking about this word “modernity.”

There have been a number of things that have been made very clear to me in the recent weeks. Revelations, etc. About this so-called modern life of ours.

I’ve been pondering the meaning of modernity and I came to the conclusion what folks today call modernity, is really just consumerism.

It’s just another part of the great lie being sold to us.

The article bears this out. The writer writes:

 … I found myself envisioning electricity in Guagüeyvo as a pileup of metallic chabochi [Tarahumara word for outsider] objects with cords sticking out — push button grinders, digital clocks, hair dryers, the new black refrigerator, TVs broadcasting telenovelas between commercials for mascara and laundry soap. I asked Fidencia [Tarahumara woman the writer was interviewing] how she would react, should someone bring all these items into her home, and she stopped looking at her daughter long enough to take me in for a moment, gravely but kindly, as though she were trying to figure out whether I could possibly be as stupid as I appeared.”

“That would be very good,” she said.

And all I can do is shake my head.

Consumerism is an addiction. Just as bad as any other, if not worse since most people do not recognize it for what it is.

And it is nothing but one big lie. You’ll be happy if you buy this. You’ll be cool if you buy this. You’ll be fulfilled and productive and hip and smart and healthy and strong … if you’ll just buy this.

And of course, it doesn’t end there. Are you still wearing “last year’s” clothes? Shame, shame! You must buy the “latest” trend!

I’m so utterly sick and tired of the whole thing. A “modern American’s” life revolves entirely around it. It is completely and utterly ridiculous and totally and absolutely insane.

But the part that upsets me the most is that everyone seems to think that it is normal! And not only that, but that folks who choose to live outside the “lifestyle” are crazy and a danger to themselves and others.


1 Comment

  1. Clair Schwan of Frugal Living Freedom said,

    What wonderful timing. I just finished about 5 pages on my Frugal Living Freedom website last night that are focused on discussing how one might start to get out of debt. The first few pages are focused on what we spend money on and most importantly, why we spend money.

    The list of excuses and justifications for spending money are extensive.

    Here is a page that talks about the addiction to spending money, much like your comment about the addiction of consumerism.

    I’ve know several people that are true spendaholics, and it isn’t pleasant. They aren’t happy unless they are immersed in spending or consuming resources. They seem to be constantly in search of something to fill that big void within.

    Much of this is because many lives are empty or have been gutted by some trauma. And, many haven’t be raised to be tough and have a mind of their own.

    The stuff on TV that passes for programming is wrapped around hard core advertising that does just what you said; it makes you feel inadequate and unsatisfied unless you are purchasing this or that and staying current with pop culture in America.

    My life course has always been set in a direction that avoided pop culture in America, and I am perfectly happy about it. We all have choices, and choosing wisely what we spend time on is part of our choices.

    When I tell folks that I don’t watch TV, listen to the radio or read the local newspaper, they often look at me with disbelief. That’s just how much they are wrapped up in our pop culture, and just how unimportant I find it to be.

    To borrow a phrase from a Paul Simon song, I need to say; my lack of participation in American pop culture hasn’t hurt me none.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: