Friday, January 18, 2008

disposable consumerism

This oddment comes from a creeping vine that looks almost exactly like thousands of other examples. Different types of vine are usually found in close proximity to others, each with a highly variable pattern of coloration and shape. This variation often deceives the novice oddment collector into thinking that one particular type is significantly different from the others in terms of flavor, effect and so on, but with very little experimentation will unveil the uniformly poor quality of these fruit.
I'm old enough to remember when compact disks first hit the market, and when the players started at $100.00 a pop. I'm even old enough to remember when Betamax and VHS were neck-in-neck for the preferred format; the current kerfuffle about "BlueRay vs. HD" is just more of the same. Today's oddment stems from the fact that VCRs are now available for the low, low price of $20.00, and universal remotes for them are available for the equally low, low price of one dollar. This means that folk who are surviving on minimum wage today can fill their studio apartments with cheap versions of obsolete technology... which will break down on a regular basis, requiring such consumers to replace their crap on a regular basis. The products in question are deliberately designed so that repairing them is more trouble and expense than it is worth, which forces consumers to buy the next version of the same stuff, which is still basically disposable.

The only drawback is that, unlike the oddments of my imagination, cheap shoddy crap available at bargain discount stores does NOT recycle as easily as it should. And let's face it, when we live in an age when the American burakumin (look it up) pick through curbside recycling for whatever they can carry (in order to sell it for that day's meal and whatever's left over not quite covering their rent and utilities), it becomes obvious that there has to be a better solution...

No comments: