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Consumerism

Fiction

My Country ’Tis Of Thee

I’m not really all that comfortable with foreign people. I always catch myself being overly friendly, nicer than I really am, my nouns and verbs more carefully selected, doggedly enunciated, punctuated with tight smiles. And volume is a problem. I start high, and after fifteen minutes, I hear myself yelling. Words far too kind, in a fortissimo that wears everybody out.

By Linda McCullough Moore August 2004
Quotations

Sunbeams

If people are highly successful in their professions they lose their senses. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Sound goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion — the relations between one thing and another. Humanity goes.

Virginia Woolf

August 2002
The Sun Interview

The Disenchanted Kingdom

George Ritzer On The Disappearance Of Authentic American Culture

Efficiency leaves no room for enchantment. Anything that is magical or mysterious is apt to also be meandering and inefficient. Furthermore, enchanted systems are often complex and highly convoluted, having no obvious means to an end. And how do you quantify the enchanted? Since it cannot be readily calculated, it is ignored and quite often eliminated.

By Derrick Jensen June 2002
Readers Write

Debt

A father’s shoes, a forgotten padlock, the surest method

By Our Readers October 2001
Fiction

Jingling Bracelets

Saïd awakens at three in the morning and has a cup of strong coffee and some leftover couscous from the night before. His children are still sleeping in the mud house, but his wife has been up for a while to get the fire going and make the coffee. The two of them sit quietly beside the fire. She yawns, waiting for him to leave so she can go back to sleep. He has a long walk ahead of him, at least six hours.

By Maximilian Schlaks August 2001
The Sun Interview

Truth In Advertising

Breaking The Spell Of Consumerism — An Interview With Kalle Lasn

Yes, ads are everywhere: on billboards and buildings, buses and cars. You fill your car with gas, and there’s an ad on the nozzle. There are ads on bank machines. Kids watch Pepsi and Snickers ads in classrooms and tattoo their calves with Nike swooshes. Administrators in Texas have plans to sell ad space on the roofs of their schools. There are ads on bananas at the supermarket. In San Francisco, IBM beamed its logo onto clouds with a laser; it was visible for ten miles. In the United Kingdom, Boy Scouts sell ad space on their merit badges. In Australia, Coca-Cola cut a deal with the postal service to cancel stamps with a Coke advertisement. There are ads at eye level above urinals. There’s really nowhere to hide. And adspeak — the language of the ad — means nothing. Worse, it’s an antilanguage that annihilates truth and meaning wherever the two come in contact.

By Derrick Jensen July 2001
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Religion Of The Ad

Before entering first-grade science class, and before entering, in any real way, into our religious ceremonies, a child will have soaked in thirty thousand advertisements. The time our teenagers spend absorbing ads is more than their total stay in high school.

By Brian Swimme May 2001
The Sun Interview

Saving The Indigenous Soul

An Interview With Martín Prechtel

The Mayans say that the other world sings us into being. We are its song. We’re made of sound, and as the sound passes through the sieve between this world and the other world, it takes the shape of birds, grass, tables — all these things are made of sound. Human beings, with our own sounds, can feed the other world in return, to fatten those in the other world up, so they can continue to sing.

By Derrick Jensen April 2001