Rebel(v)

a : to act in or show opposition or disobedience <rebelled against the conventions of polite society> b : to feel or exhibit anger or revulsion <rebelled at the injustice of life>

A very interesting article over at "This Magazine":http://www.thismagazine.ca which does an excellent job of summing up and slapping down the anticonsumerist movement that is so prevalent today.

I suppose I should [link it](http://www.thismagazine.ca/issues/2002/11/rebelsell.php). And, realistically, also the inevitable accompanying [Metafilter discussion](http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/37751).

I haven't really hit the MeFi talk on it yet because I wanted to write down my own opinions before they are informed by those of others, but I did glance at the upper part of the responses, and one really jumped out at me:

>I think he mistakes the primary motivation behind brand rejection. I'm sure some people reject
>brands in order to distinguish themselves, but I personally feel awful about every brand I own.
>Indie bands are not the driving engine of consumerism; Wal-mart is. You think those people buying
>5 VCRs on Thanksgiving are trying to make a statement about individuality? You think I'm using
>linux cause it's hip? It's UI hell! But it's free, and it works well enough. That's the true force
>behind anti-consumer movements: the increasing conviction that we are being ripped
>off.

This is especially funny because it's essentially _exactly_ the attitude that the author of the original article describes. It's the same as Naomi Klein's and the same as all of those t-shirt wearing Che Guevara fans, the same as hip music listeners who won't touch anything that becomes popular, and, lest someone feel the need to point the obvious out, the same as me, who won't wear clothes with logos on them.

I'm interested by this article because I see myself reflected in it, and it takes a bit of the piss out of my objections to consumer culture. I'm not sure that the conclusions -- tax more stuff to make it suck to own things -- are ones that I could ever support, because as I read it I am realizing that it is *not* consumer culture that I dislike and disdain, it is _mass_ culture. Heath and Potter mention several instances of "positional goods," which are goods that by having you prevent someone else from using, and the fact of the matter is that with limited space and resources, such goods will _always_ exist. I guess the best thing we can do about it is not eschew the whole system, but rather work to minimize our impact on it -- if we choose to want things that are 'niche' things, then there is more likelihood that we will not be taking something that someone else wants.

Interesting sunday morning thinky for you all, no?

Comments !