January 8, 2013

Non Essential, Desirable and Damaging

“I don’t have a problem with anger, I have a problem with the things that make me angry, and I think the main problem I have is that most people – society in general – are not sufficiently angry about those things that upset me. That in itself makes me angry – a sort of latter-day angry young man.” Roger Deakin

There are times when a shared sentiment flies off the page. Reading ‘Notes from Walnut Tree Farm’ today this passage distiled what I’ve been feeling for such a long time. My own excitement of moving onto our smallholding, Harewood, has helped to keep the black moods at bay but never far from the Internet I am saddened by the continued obscene set of priorities of government and the propaganda dressed as news from a media that often seems to collude rather than challenge.

Simple truths that threaten to destroy us all hardly get a mention, a favourite slogan from the Occupy Movement goes ‘those who maintain that continued economic growth on a finite planet are either mad or an economist!’ As the obvious signs of depletion continue to become apparent our governments continue to maintain growth as priority over all else. And what is ‘all else’? It’s the engagement in the destruction of the last wilderness, the oceans and it’s coral wonders, forests, fish stocks, diversity and rare and wonderful people. If life on earth is possible without these things which I doubt, it won’t be life as we know it.

For instance in West Papua Indigenous people are subject to genocide, the eco-system is being decimated and most of that destruction is directly linked to the demand for the resources required to feed our behemoth consumer habit.

Watch this short film and tell me that you’d allow this in your name for growth, because this is what growth looks like. It may be happening a long way away but we’re up to our elbows in the blood.  Look into the eyes of Guru Jemaat Steve Su and tell me that 400,000 lives are worth the pursuit of growth; meat for hamburgers, nickel for cheap electronics, palm oil for bio fuels and the destruction of the forests and everything that lives in it..

Researching her film The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remain in use six months after sale. Even the goods we might have expected to hold onto are soon condemned to destruction through either planned obsolescence (breaking quickly) or perceived obsolescence (becoming unfashionable).

Infact most of what we buy fits into a neat acronym NEDD, items the Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke say’s stands for  ‘non essential, desirable and damaging.’ Yesterday he introduced the Welfare Cash Card Bill to the commons to restrict the consumption of this stuff. Well actually not, its just another Tory government headline stealer. ‘No Booze and Sky for Shirkers!’ Designed once more to keep the focus on those who actually consume relatively little and whose footprint is tiny. I have no doubt that it will keep the middle England media enthralled while ‘the Strivers’  a group this government loves to bounce on it’s knee like a fat little baby will continue to strive for even more, whatever the consequences.

So am I wrong to be angry that our leaders don’t make it a daily duty to tell us there is a problem with our consumptive lifestyle in much the same way that they tell us at every turn that the Welfare State must be reformed? Am I wrong to be angry that millions have and will continue to die because of our economic model? Am I wrong to be angry that the very planet is at risk for the sake of stuff that will be discarded within days or months? Am I wrong to be angry that tomorrow’s headlines will be about shirkers?

You tell me.

Ken Finn

As a Postscript … The UK Guardian Newspaper published a telling graphic on how little of the current UK deficit is down to those un-employed and recieving Benefit… It’s a tiny percentage… Well, well at least one paper is telling it like it truly is. Check it Out

August 10, 2006

alaluyah! Reverend Billy

Filed under: Consumerism — ken finn @ 8:50 pm

The Reverend Billy

Confess your shopping sins and find salvation.

Listen to the gospel according to Reverend Billy and find the path to righteousness.

Visit the Church of Stop Shopping!


April 24, 2006

Move over Chelsea Tractor, here comes the Chav Bus!

Filed under: Consumerism — ken finn @ 6:50 pm

The Chav Bus

My heart sank as I watched this behemoth try to get round the narrow bend up the road from me… But when I realised the passengers were far from Roedean I chivvied up. I gave thanks to my chavy heritage and blessed the occupants for the havoc they reap upon the carefully developed brand!

For as soon as a name becomes bling or chav the brand equity vanishes. For instance what were once indentifiers for the stylish or wealthy like Burberry, Cartier, Gucci or Prada are now the domain of TKMax and eBay. The image slaves wouldn’t be seen dead in them.

So could one long limo for Chav be one short trade in for the Chelsea Tractor? Since about every naff Hen Night or Stag features a stretched limo these days what discerning captain of industry would consider it a statement of success to use one? With the arrival of the 20ft Hummer the value of “Range Rover or Jeep” and all the other 4×4 wannabe brands maybe on the slide! Tinted glass will be the absolutely essential option to save the faces of the not so cool.

So pimp up my ‘All Wheel Drive,’ the Chavs are stretchin’ and squeezin’ the syle of the Chelsea Tractor!

And for bus companies everywhere, there’s got to be a lesson here!

Read the disturbing Facts about the dangers of big 4×4′s on urban streets

November 23, 2005

No Comfort for Cold Turkey’s

Filed under: ,Consumerism — ken finn @ 6:16 pm

Comfort screws you up

We have to be very clever because the ones who run this place might be mad but they’re not stupid; they’re crazy but they ain’t stupid.

The lunatics really are running the asylum after all.

I’ve been skipping my pills and going turkey, today things are clear.

I’m starting to see the deal now and how’s this for a piss take? They’ve started putting warnings on the packets of ‘Comfort’.

So confident now, that the medication is working, they tell us that the contents, ‘will kill’ or ’cause a slow and painful death’ but the sleepwalkers suck it down. It’s a masterstroke. It makes me smile; the poisoner is wearing the doctor’s coat.

The prescribed course of treatment has worked magic. One dose of Delusion tm (separate patient from cause and effect) One dose of Foreboding tm, (to induce fear or paranoia) One dose of Comfort tm; Administer daily in increasing dosage.

Once established this triad is completely interdependent and self-serving, reduce or increase any part of the treatment and the patient will display signs of distress followed by self-administered re-balancing doses.

Neat treatment that triad, give a smoker a dose of Delusion tm and then tell he or she that they will die a painful death at the altar of the flip top (Foreboding tm) and they’ll reach for a packet of their favourite brand of Comfort tm. There’s Comfort tm for every kind of Foreboding tm, a new car, a new mortgage, a new wife, the terms are easy and now you can even get your Comfort tm with added Foreboding tm ‘your home may be at risk if you do not keep up the payments.’

So shout as loud as you like “the earth is heating like a greenhouse, the forests are being destroyed. We will leave a wasteland for our children!” The response from the sleepwalkers will be to go shopping for their own taste in Comfort tm; the scarier the message – the stronger the dose.

The ones who run this place might be mad but they’re not stupid; they’re crazy but they ain’t stupid.

In my clarity I feel the falling forest like the dropping beats of my heart. I’ve got the foreboding for real. The first rush found old paths and receptive neurons. The chemicals like a malicious serpent slither around my gut and chest; it’s venom infecting my brain. From the pit of my stomach the calls for Comfort tm come screaming but as a penance for my impotence I’m taking cold turkey. This is no time for sleepwalking.

We have to be awake because the ones who run this place are both pushers and junkies.

Don’t do Comfort tm