Tag Archives: Consumer culture

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

A thermometer in the proverbial mouth of society would measure a high temperature. We are all feverish. Psychiatrist Dirk De Wachter calls our society ‘borderline‘. Are we aware of a kind of collective delusion? ‘Hypermarkets’ , that offer up to 30.000 articles, have increased their turnover from 616 to 4.823 billion euro. A good and strong pupil who perfectly meets our economic model of better, faster… and always more.

The supermarket is a temple of consumption.
File:Supermarket beer and wine aisle.jpgEvery product cries out to be bought . With an agressiveness that borders on hysterical, our advertising boys try to convince us that margarine produces a more harmonious family life and that coca cola creates friendships. They shamelessly use insights of psychology to encourage people to consume. And they do not spare anyone, not even children.

The energy that is required of human beings to produce 30.000 articles, to distribute them and to sell them is colossal. This whole chain mobilises gigantic forces and realises this with such passion, that it betrays the conviction that to produce and consume material things will give us what we are looking for.

Does it still surprise you that we are drawn into consumption with forever stronger stimuli , at the cost of other things ?
 
It is a kind of psychological materialism that makes that we are more preoccupied with ‘having’ than ‘being’. If there even is time for ‘being’. Recently a study with 8000 students at the Catholic University of Leuven has shown that 1/7 has serious emotional problems: fear, depression, suicidal thoughts. Philosopher and author Hein Stufkens said in an interview :

” People that think about suicide, do not really want to stop living, they want to stop living ‘in this way’. They want to live differently. They are looking for real life “.

These are hard facts that in the West we are strongly ego-centric. Isn’t it high time that we look beyond the borders of the ego? One can maybe buy a lot in the supermarket, but you do not buy friendship there, no hope and no trust. Just like it is impossible to buy happiness, which is a good thing!

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Preceding

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: In de supermarkt kan je (g)een hoop kopen

Looking for the consummation of presents

Luxury

Summermonths and consumerism

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Family happiness and little things we do

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Life isn’t unfair

Soft values? Needed heart- and- soul!

Watch out

You’re Lighter Than Air~

How do Other People Feel About Mental Health?

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

O’ Captain! My Captain!

Just be yourself…

Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression

Less… is still enough

Less for more

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

We all have to have dreams

Forward ever backwards never!

“Der Grad der K… De mate van creativiteit – Degree of creativity

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Additional reading

  1. Capitalism
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  4. Migrants to the West #3
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  7. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  8. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  10. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  11. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  12. société, crise, esprit
  13. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  14. Parenthood made more difficult
  15. Living Apart together
  16. Being Charlie 6
  17. Land not an ordinary asset
  18. Securing risks
  19. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  20. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  21. Oh god, this is never going to end!
  22. Depression Is and When
  23. What IF you’re only driven by stress?
  24. A little ray of sunshine.
  25. Getting fate in your change to positiveness
  26. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  27. Pieces
  28. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  29. Be an Encourager
  30. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  31. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws

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Further reading

  1. What I Want
  2. Materialism or Emotions?
  3. Snail
  4. The choice of being “choiceless”
  5. Convenience Store | Grocery Store in Delhi-NCR, India
  6. Gloomy retail outlook for the first quarter
  7. Walmart – World’s Largest Retail Chain
  8. The Supermarket is the Nexus of Existential Dread
  9. Battle Of The Supermarkets
  10. Grocery Chains Aren’t Building New Supermarkets Where Most Needed
  11. there’s more to stacking shelves than you think
  12. These are the dirtiest places in every supermarket
  13. Grass hair clip..?
  14. Russian supermarket slammed for selling chopping boards with photo of Barack Obama as a monkey
  15. Russian store sold ‘monkey Obama’ chopping boards & apologized
  16. Day 7 – An Educational Day at the Supermarket
  17. What’s the Best Way to Sell a Product?
  18. Overhaul the world’s money policy
  19. Intermittent truth
  20. Global economies shape our cities: is it acceptable?
  21. Woes and Watch-out Warnings
  22. Listening to the Web
  23. Please Sir, I Want Some More
  24. I am rich and famous. Now what…?
  25. The truth about Consume
  26. How Much Do I Consume?
  27. Rule #105: Cyclical consumption
  28. Materialistic Wants? Not.
  29. “money is the reason we exist, everybody knows it, it’s a fact, kiss kiss”
  30. Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society
  31. Cotton and cocaine
  32. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  33. Contrasts.
  34. Contented Consumer?
  35. The foolish man
  36. Being No One One, Precis: Part 2
  37. Turning the Poor into Consumers
  38. Capitalising on Christmas
  39. Lighting up Christmas
  40. Christmas fragment 1
  41. Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend
  42. Holiday gift-giving between adults is a needless, consumerist chore
  43. To Save Pandas, We Must Eat them
  44. Things I’ve learned from killing consumerism #13 – We want beauty for ourselves
  45. Obama: Stop pretending you care about Syrian people
  46. Should We Be Scared?
  47. Its 100% OK to offend people in my world
  48. Life..a never ending..
  49. Born Privileged
  50. {quote of the day}
  51. Only to be Lost
  52. Run
  53. Self Harm
  54. My Only Way Out
  55. Ahhhhhh
  56. the curtain comes up
  57. I Have This Urge
  58. Letter Of Departure
  59. The truth about approuachable
  60. Officially Trumped: When “being Real” gets too Real
  61. Contented Consumer?
  62. Magic
  63. First Feelings – Sonnet No. 4
  64. Friends
  65. Universe
  66. 2015/2016

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6 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Bond Zonder Naam, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Movement Without a Name, Welfare matters

Looking for the consummation of presents

When the end of the year is coming
people are looking for the consummation of presents

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are coming closer to the Winter holidays and in the down side of this globe the Summer holidays. The holidays can be an unsettling time for atheists and the Christmas holidays may be an stressing times for trinitarian Christians. Those Christians also often want to know how atheists can cope with what those Christians call the Season of the Greatest Gift on earth.

Sarah, a dog-faced atheist currently living in North Carolina, writes

Once when talking to a family member who is aware of my atheism and verbal about it, she asked: “Does it bother you when you get Jesus stuff for the holidays?” The truth, yes and no. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

She, like many other atheists and lots of Christians, does not seem to know that all this Christmas event has nothing to do with Christianity or the real Jesus born in Bethlehem. Christmas is a pagan feast of which real Christians should abstain. But many Christians love to think about the true real Greatest Gift on earth mankind received. That was indeed the saviour or the Kristos, Jesus Christ, who was really born in 4BCE, October 17. So, we could wonder why they like to celebrate his so called birthday on the birthday of the goddess of light and on the pagan holy day for that goddess.

Therefore it is strange that as self-proclaimed resident holiday gift adviser, this Sarah gives her guiding rules on how to shop for heathens as follows:

  1. Don’t give your atheist friend anything religious.

  2. Avoid gifts that use “Christmas” or “Xmas.”

  3. Coffee is good. Atheists like coffee. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

When we look in the shop windows we also do not see much that reminds people of the Messiah and what he has given to mankind and why we can look at him as the best gift the world ever got.

Many may say that

“The Word became flesh.”

but do not really know what this means.

A certain Chandy who is also knowing that she is been given a gift, likes to share it, but considers it impossible. she also seems to see the reason.

No one’s bothered, which is fine. People have their own choices and finally, Jesus does love them. Others possibly communicate their theology but I can’t. And in some senses I wish I hadn’t learnt it. {Despairing Resonance}

This December she writes

Blood, bodily fluids, wordless crying are at the heart of Christmas story. It is icky, joyful and fills the senses. {Christmas fragment 1}

When we carefully look around everything turns around getting presents and just making lots of fun. Naturally nothing is wrong with making lots of fun and giving each other presents. Lovely. But to have stress about it?! And to say it is all for Jesus?!

Chandy at WordPress continues

It is icky, joyful and fills the senses.

This is why with so many objects criss crossing the planet it fulfils part of the spirit of Christmas. The handling of the card, the wrapping of the gift, the prising of the plastic, the eating of food, the drinking of wine affirms our bodily humanity; for God affirms bodily humanity in its messy state by taking on a breathing, weeing, gurgling body. {Christmas fragment 1}

Looking at mankind they all seem to look for their luck in stuff.

Everyone seeking love, joy, hope, peace, contentment and seeking to find it in stuff. Anyone who has an eternal perspective sees how silly this is – chasing after wealth and popularity and power. Still the pull of this world is strong. Smell that cheddar? Don’t worry about that spring loaded wire it’s sitting on. “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”  Wealth isn’t the issue.  Idolatry – love of money is.  (But sometimes wealth breeds the other.) {Contented Consumer?}

Even those Christians who say this is the season of peace are arguing that all those refugees better stayed in their country and would leave our developed society on its own, they not coming to take away some food and quality of life. They forget they themselves never brought anything themselves into this life at start, but got everything given to them, life, education, edible plants, sunshine, rain, the earth. Man is so selfish he thinks he has done it all by himself and that everything belongs to himself. To share it with others is difficult. For that reason such a gift season may not be so bad, because than people have to provide something for somebody else, and they have to spend something from their own money for it, which is not so easy for them. but many have fallen in the trap of the ” tyranny of expectations surrounding this so called Holy Day”.

Those who belong to the wealthy better should think about those who have less. This time of gifts should bring them to think about what gifts we all get in our life. Scripture is not against products that make life better for those who produce them.  It is also not against consuming products. but it warns us how we use our money and warns us about the attitude we can take or have to take with the things we can enjoy.

Scriptures does not say at all that luxury would not be allowed, but it gives us an indication that we should be willing to share with others. The Bible tells us the “Love of money” is wrong and corrupting.

Studies show that those with a lot of it are more narcissistic and less generous.  Our tendency is to think – that’s people who are richer than we are – They are self-absorbed and greedy. {Woes and Watch-out Warnings}

In the West we have become a “Consumer driven society”

Buy, buy, buy. Get, get, get. We’re all buyers; consumers of stuff. There are things we need and things we want. Separating our wants from our needs has become more difficult with the growing ideology of consumerism. The encouragement of acquiring more and more stuff at an increasing pace continues to change our society. The “one who dies with the most toys” philosophy has propelled the age of consumerism as our appetite to acquire things has skyrocketed. I wonder though if this is healthy for our society? {Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society}

The Spirit of Christmas (short film)

The Spirit of Christmas (short film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way people want to consume is changing and shopping becomes for some less a social activity, but a lonesome internet action, not really interested were it comes form at what cost, as long as he can get it the cheapest.

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Distinguished Programs Joseph DeRosa warns

So as we enter the Holiday season – whatever Holiday you celebrate – think about your own gift giving habits. If it’s cheaper online, I get it. That’s simply being fiscally responsible. But if it’s not, I’d challenge you to go to the store, walk the aisles, smile at others and say hello. Let’s not slip so far into our rabbit holes that we forget that the difference between living and being alive is the amount of interaction and experience we have with one another. Would any of us really want to be walking around this planet alone? Would that be alive? Not me. Make the choice to live alive. Connect with someone. Today.

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Preceding

Family happiness and little things we do

Halloween is Satanist Christmas

He who beams never walks in the dark

The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present

Welcome to Easter 2014

Next: One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

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Additional reading

  1. A season of gifts
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  8. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  9. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  10. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  11. The imaginational war against Christmas
  12. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  13. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  14. Holiday tolerance
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  17. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  18. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  20. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  21. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  22. I believe in you…
  23. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  25. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  26. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  27. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  28. Sancta Claus is not God
  29. What Jesus sang
  30. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  31. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  32. Christmas trees
  33. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  34. God’s Special Gift
  35. What do you want for Christmas
  36. Speedy Christmas!
  37. Don’t Envy the World

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Further related postings on the net

  1. Christmas Twinkle and Festive Helsinki City Lights
  2. You Lived Your Best Life If You Had These ’90s Toys When You Were A Kid
  3. 27 of the best 90s toys that prove Christmas used to be way better
  4. Five holiday light displays you can’t miss this holiday season
  5. The North Poles’ Secret by Zoey Hart #CinnamonTreats
  6. Bending History
  7. Advent No.12: Gifting guide for friends…
  8. 🎶 Seventh day of Christmas 🎶
  9. Joy to the World
  10. Advent Day 12
  11. 12 Days Of Christmas… ‘This Time Of Year’ by Only Girl
  12. The Twelve Days of Christmas: Preparing Families for Emergencies
  13. BoyChild Chooses: The 12 Reviews of Christmas, Day 12–McDuff’s Christmas
  14. Bear With Me While I Wait For Santa
  15. Christmas Gift Guide
  16. It’s beginning to look a lot like…
  17. How to find the Christmas gifts for your friends and family?
  18. Transcending the Financial Border
  19. Prepare ye the way of the Lord
  20. He Loves to Hear You Pray
  21. Christmas prayers for children
  22. Christmas 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan: Day 12 – Malachi 3:1-3
  23. Advent 2015 – Day 14 – Perfect Peace
  24. Holidays for Earth Part II
  25. New Bond Street – Xmas 2015
  26. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  27. The foolish man

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11 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Some might think we are

“constantly striving to develop lives of meaning without any outside recourse. The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

but today lots of people strive to enrich themselves with material wealth and consider their live worthwhile when they can be more wealthier and better showing off than others. Lots of people think they miss enough money or enough gadgets to enjoy fully life. For many everything seems to turn around the gathering of as much money as possible.

Lots of people do not look for the depth of meaning of life and are not so much interested in the others around them and the influence or necessity of them for them.

thisissueappearsThe American Conservative in the May/June 2015 article speaks about Matthew Crawford his books “Shop Class As Soul Craft” plus “The World Beyond Your Head” and looks at ‘the subtitle to his latest book which promises a look at our “age of distraction“.

The article says:

The premise of Crawford’s book is that our distractedness is merely symptomatic of a deeper cultural defect, a misrepresentation of the self that has permeated our society. He traces this back to Enlightenment philosophy, especially the thought of Immanuel Kant. Enlightenment thinkers of the late 17th and 18th centuries presented a view of the person that contrasted drastically with medieval and ancient thought: they put unprecedented emphasis on the rational individual as separate from society or community. They posited new theories about freedom founded upon reason and self-determination, with epistemological roots in ideas such as Descartes’s famous claim that “I think therefore I am.” Kant believed that knowledge and ethics must necessarily be situated within the mind—that existence must be interpreted through the autonomy of the individual.

The writer thinks

The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.

Whereas in the real world, Crawford writes,

“we are subject to the heteronomy of things; the hazards of material reality,”

and continues

what Kant has given us is our modern identification of freedom with choice, in which choice is a “pure flashing forth” of the individual will.

that identification of freedom with choice has been there already from the period of the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Man had the choice either to follow his Creator His Will or to go his own way. Man choose the latter.

Thousand of years later, many think the world around them limits them and nature is to  block  their leg.

dumb nature is understood to be threatening to our freedom as rational beings, it becomes attractive to construct a virtual reality that will be less so, a benignly nice [reality] where there is no conflict between self and world

How many people do not want to be on their own and have the world turning around themselves. For many it is most important that everything turns around their own “I” so that they can say with proud: “I am“.

The associate editor of  The American Conservative Gracy Olmstead writes:

Consumer culture tries to destroy the discomforts and imperfections that are necessarily part of life.

Is not there one of the greatest problems of our present society, which has put most of its hopes on the material things it can require to make its own. It is not that they want to hoard things, but they love to gather all the newest things so that they can show off against others who have to do with older things.

Though the writer of the article finds that modern cars are designed in an insulating and distracting way, we more see them as copies of each other not having any more the specific personality or difference as the cars had in the 1950ies, when each car looked so specific and really could get its fans for one or another model and each model with its own flashy personal colours. to us it looks like that car owners lost the interest to have a car or any other object (clothes, houses) that look very personal and have their won story to tell. People do want all the same and are willing to cue for the latest gadget. Everybody else has to be able to see that they have this or that brand and can afford this or that mobile or i-pad, which has to be of the latest and newest ‘invention’.

Concerning the cars we could agree with the idea the  critic has

Everything within a car is constructed to give a sense of isolation and ease.

When the author would mean that the person who is driving the car would like to have the feeling to being his own world, having his own little world where nobody else around is being part of it. When the music can play loud it does not matter that others can hear it in their bathroom or are whipped out of bed. It is there music and everybody else should have to hear that is the best music to listen to.

Naturally the cultivation of “me-worlds” extends beyond auto-mobile design, but form men this might still be the thing to make their ‘me’, though the i-pad has taken a lot of that place.

Olmstead finds that Crawford spends a good deal of the book arguing that an Enlightenment approach to epistemology leads to narcissism: an understanding of the world that revolves entirely around the self and writes

The narcissist “treats objects as props” and struggles to comprehend them as objects with a reality of their own. The fantasy of autonomy, when full-grown, results in a “project of open-ended, ultimately groundless self-making.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

Interestingly, Crawford identifies our treatment of others as the root of online narcissism in the age of Facebook:

“We increasingly deal with others through representations of them that we have,” he writes. “This results in interactions that are more contained, less open-ended, than a face-to-face encounter or a telephone call, giving us more control.”

Automobiles, the reviewer says

“can foster circumspection—literally, looking around for others and regarding oneself as an object for others in turn—or a collection of atomized me-worlds.” Our experience becomes ever more “mediated by representations, which remove us from whatever situation we inhabit directly, as embodied beings who do things.”

Throughout the ages the world has received its many distractions. The tools may have changed but the aim and way has stayed the same. Today “virtual reality” allows many to find back lost friends or schoolmates and gives the opportunity to interact with more, and more diverse, people, not fewer and not more homogeneous.

For American society to emerge from the distractions of consumer culture and virtual existence

Ms Olmstead finds

we must look beyond the symptoms and consider the disease: the shroud of individualism that prevents us from fully embracing the real world.

The individuals looking for themselves to acquire as much material wealth as possible have to come to see that they would be better to work at their social contacts spending more time to be with each other in real life than in chat sessions, never going deep in a conversation. For sure we we must

cultivate an awareness of—and love for—the world beyond ourselves.

The Edge Foundation / Flickr

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Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

The I Am to explore

little i

Path/Walk/Sink

Comic: The Last Time I Felt Accepted For Who I Am

Be realistic, do not pretend

The world starts with yourself

Believe in yourself!

Believe in your greatness

Find Inspiration and Follow Your Dreams

Wishy-Washy…

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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Additional reading:

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. For those who make other choices
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  4. Detroit, A city not to be understood

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7 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters