February 11, 2013 by Kriscinda Lee Everitt
I thought today would end up being a skimpy post, but maybe it won’t be. See, I’m about 62,000 into writing what really is turning out to be my first novel. I’m probably about 3,000-4,000 words from being finished, which I can probably get done in the next couple of days. Heck, maybe even just today. That’s a big deal. That’s a get-some-wine-or-maybe-even-go-out-to-dinner kind of celebratory achievement. Well, for me it is. So, I really just wanted to concentrate on that today.
But as I was having my breakfast and then my coffee, I was reading some blogs, and I read the post of my most recent favorite blog, The Arts and Crafts Bungalow. There, she talks about the burgeoning new Arts & Crafts Movement, which is also the Homesteading Movement, and the Local Food Movement, and the I’m-Tired-Of-Spending-My-Hard-Earned-Cash-On-Cheap-Garbage Movement. It’s all the same, if you think about it. Basically, it’s one massive umbrella movement against the corporate-backed, money-grubbing, let-them-eat-cake sort of consumerist society that we’ve all unknowingly created for ourselves (or allowed to be created for us).
You know, it’s one thing when the trend from healthy, whole food turned to shitty, pre-package crap, or the trend of sturdily-made furniture being replaced with Ikea…it’s one thing when these trends happened over a period of time, almost like a backwards evolutionary change (backwards only in concept, because if we could truly go backwards with these trends, we’d be doing ourselves a favor), but just because it happened—we let it happen, our parents let it happen, their parents let it happen—doesn’t mean we can’t, or shouldn’t demand, that it unhappen.
I left a lengthy, rambling comment to the above mentioned blog post, which was basically this: The vast majority of people seem to be happy to buy crap. And it doesn’t actually make sense. Why would you buy a bunch of poorly-made items for the same amount of money you could have spent on one or two well-made items? Why would you buy a ton of crap food that is killing you when you could buy fewer healthy food items (yes, that would mean you eat less, which, chances are, isn’t a bad thing)? I qualified my comment by stating that I am not talking about those communities that don’t have access to these things: they should have access to them and it should be affordable, and that they don’t is the topic of a whole other angry, bitter rant.
I’m talking about people who have access and the resources to have these things, but they deliberately chose the shoddily-made items just so they can have more of them, or they willingly buy the food that is designed to force them to eat more than they should and literally takes years off their lives. I hear the “arguments” again and again–“It’s too expensive. Why would I buy one of those when I can have ten of these?” Oh, I dunno, because one of these will last longer than the forty of those you need to buy because they keep breaking, and breaking, and…oh! That actually costs you more, doesn’t it? Yes. Yes it does.
Cheap, shitty food? Oh yes, why buy fewer healthy foods for too much darn money when you can buy bags and boxes full of crap? It’s cheaper, right? Tell your health insurance that. Tell that to the collection agency that’s after you for that diabetes maintenance doctor’s visit you had six months ago. Oh, and while you’re telling them that, have another bag of
potato grease oil chips.
It makes no sense. It’s illogical. And it all seems to come down to a very distorted sense of value and money. It costs the same to eat well and be healthy. It costs the same to have a product that works, or that lasts generations, as opposed to six months-to-a-year. It costs you more to replace these items repeatedly. It costs you more to be treated for your diet-related illnesses. Stop saying that this way of life costs too much! It doesn’t.
It does, though, require a certain amount of discipline, because, let’s face it, changing these learned behaviors—these deeply entrenched behaviors—is very much like breaking an addiction. We have been led to believe that a healthy, sustainable way of living is somehow socially inferior to just (lazily) playing along with all the companies who make billions from our crappy lives. Doesn’t that piss you off? It pisses me off. And that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing—making big changes in our lives, but most importantly, making big changes in the way we think about our lives. Sometimes in order to break an addiction, one only needs to start with a thought. Think about the facts and not just what you want to hear because what you want to hear is easier. The changing might be hard, but it’ll probably be the most valuable thing you can ever do for yourself and your loved ones.