So … I’ve been wrestling with two things in my brain, trying to make them somehow cohere, and it just isn’t working.
America seems to hold up two irreconcilable ideals when it comes to material goods. On the one hand, we know that wasteful spending is bad. One should not indulge in too many physical things, lest ye get greedy, attached to your objects and the worth you put into them. On the other hand, we have high government officials telling us that if we don’t trample more people at Wal-Mart then our economy will collapse into a black hole and suck the poor United States into oblivion….
It’s either one or the other, guys … I can’t do both.
I think the “trample” solution distresses me more. I don’t know if any of you remember this, but I have a very clear picture of George W. Bush shortly after 9/11 telling the citizens of America that the best way they could help after the attack was to go on a shopping spree. I remember thinking then that that was kind of a perverse way to push consumerism. Now we have the recession. And either I’m gonna max out my credit card or witness the economic fall of civilization.
Now, I am by no means anti-materialist or -consumerist or -whatever, but I draw the line when I’m supposed to care how much money friggin’ Wal-Mart is making. Isn’t this be the “free market” telling us that we shouldn’t rest our monetary future on worthless bullshit for everyday low prices … that was probably made in China, which is how those everyday low prices are possible?
Somewhere deep inside of me there’s a Luddite who hopes our economy will teach us a lesson or two … but every time he tries to speak up he gets beaten down by the other, much larger part of me, who will cut the sucker that tries to take my intertubes away!
Sigh … economies blow….