Friday 11 June 2010

Objects of desire

I was having a chat with a friend of mine, about consumerism and the need to become more aware of its impact on the environment. We had a really good debate. It was fun. We were putting the world to rights.

Then, later that morning he happened to mention the HMV sale. They were selling the five-disc definitive boxset of Bladerunner for £6. In a limited-edition metal tin, with all three versions of the film. About a million hours of extra commentaries, interviews and documentaries, a selection of postcards and some sort of plastic hologram of a film-still. All my certainties went out of the window! All that for six quid? I love that film. I'd be mad not to rush straight out and buy it. As I reached for my coat I was virtually salivating. I’m not kidding…

In the end, I didn't buy it. But I didn't feel good about it either. The powerful thing about consumerism is that it just feels so damn good. Whether it just does of itself or whether we're conditioned to it, I don't know. I realised though that buying stuff is addictive, and when you don't feed that desire, it hurts.

It was a close thing. I got away with it this time. I know there'll be lots of other occasions when I won't. There'll be so many things I’m going to really want to buy. Sometimes I will and sometimes I won't. If breaking our addiction to constantly buying stuff feels like this, it's gonna be a tough ride.

More and more, I'm seeing books, articles, interviews that refer to the concept of affluenza, the state of mind where too much is never enough. And I don't want to be ruled by that. I want to be in control of my own mind.

So I'll keep trying. No pain, no gain, as they say.

1 comment:

  1. Aw don't worry Jon, you can borrow it once I've seen it! To be honest, I did feel guilty about the manufacturing of the 5 disc tin box set versus the 1 disc plastic box but was ruled by my inherited parenting approach that 'niggles' me to stretch money as far as it will go. I had already made the decision to purchase. Downhill slope............!