Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Occasionally people I know will deride the consumer driven nature of today’s society. Why it’s bad, I’m not entirely certain, however judging from the forceful way they speak of consumerism, it must be a bad thing.

Maybe I’m just missing out on something simple, but I would put consumerism at least a notch above masturbation. Yes, the analogy is crude, but hear me out (or read me out as the case may be).

If I go to a store and buy some crap that I don’t need, it can’t possibly hurt anyone other than me (and that point is debatable). In fact, my purchase probably helped to employ a few people, but back to the crux of anti-consumerist argument. For buying this crap, I’ll probably feel good for having bought it. How long I feel good about the purchase typically depends on the actual utility I get from the purchase. If it’s a new video game, I typically can get at least a solid weekend of play in. If its just some useless knickknack that amused me for the moment that I’ll rarely use (like my singing potty training bear), maybe it’s a few hours spread out over several months (Oh yes, I am indeed a super duper pooper.).

Yeah, perhaps I’ll throw it away in a couple of years (or less), but in the mean time, I derived at least a little pleasure out of the purchase.

Now consider masturbation. Again it doesn’t hurt anyone, and it feels good. However, even when I’m in one of my moods to see just how long I can masturbate, that’s maybe one good hour of fun, two tops. More frequently it’s a quick “How do you do?” in the shower in the morning and away to work I go. (Side note: am I the only one who sees a connection between Nintendoitis - that throbbing thumb condition - and mastrubation blisters?)

My intermediate point being: I am quite certain that these same people who deride my consumerist impulses would not deny me my simple onanist pleasures. (I think I’ll post more sometime later about the real sin of Onan, which was not masturbation.) But yet, I derive greater pleasure from my consumerism than from my masturbation.

Yes, yes, we all masturbate. But we’re all consumers too. We've been consuemers ever since eating the apple of knowledge (As Seen on Serpent TV!). And we consume a heck of a lot more than we masturbate. Think about that the next time you’re jerking off while looking through your stacks of nudey magazines (Even Al Bundy consumed to mastrubate!).

My summary point being: It is internally inconsistent to oppose consumerism while espousing a “if it feels good, do it” philosophy cause consumerism sure does feel good.

The next time you hear someone railing on how consumerism is wrong and destroying society, mentally replace consumerism with masturbation. If nothing else, you’ll get a good chuckle, but more than likely you’ll see how weak their arguments are.

Now I think I’ll turn on my 25 Inch Sanyo TV ($225 at Walmart), switch on my Nintendo Game Cube (Christmas gift – was $199 now available for the low low price of $99), and play some NCAA2004 (birthday present - $49.99). I think I’ll enjoy playing it for a couple hours, maybe even get some good Nintendoitis going.


Saturday, November 01, 2003

This is rather cheesy, but my friend Alex Jamal born Alex Jamal, nee Alex Jamal (not that he's married nor has he changed his name), wanted to be able to do a vanity search for his own name. Some sort of validation of self. Apparently the web has become such a social phenomenon that people feel left out if they're not on the web somewhere. I think once upon a time people felt the same about being listed in phonebooks - a sign that they've made it and now are their own person.

Another seemingly unrelated thought in this otherwise scatalogical post: Will the rise of cell phones (not in the T2 sense) spell the end of the phone book? Most people do not like listing their cell phone number in a phone book. If a sufficiently large number of people switch to cell phones I can see phone books becoming irrelevant (hastened by the new regulation where you can move your phone number between providers?).

While I have long since stopped using phone books people's phone numbers, preferring instead to use online search engines (like VT stalker), I still use it to look up business numbers. So perhaps that's what phone books will be used for in the future.

Anyways, to satisfy Alex Jamal's need to find himself online let me finish this little fun for whenever yahoo crawls this page:
Alex Jamal - women want him. Alex Jamal - men want to be like him. Alex Jamal - aliens want to dissect him.


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