The Story of Stuff

If you take 25 minutes out of your day and watch these two videos, you don’t ever have to come back to this blog again.  It would make us very sad, but there is probably nothing we could say or do to would better explain why the system we live in is failing us all.

Tell me if this doesn’t sound broken to you:

“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption.  The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms…. We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.”  — Retailing analyst Victor Lebow in 1955, articulating the formulation that has now become the norm for our entire economic system.  

Twenty five minutes is a lot to ask.  I know you feel the tug of all those status updates and other websites you could be visiting right now.  But it is an engaging and accessible piece.  You could spend ten years reading all the source material that when into this, but I don’t think that is time we’ve got.

Part I

Part II

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