I’m gonna start with some personal confessions, if that’s not too narcissistic!
I almost never buy anything new. And I have the best life ever.
Okay, maybe there are other reasons I have a good life. Like having had a pretty fun childhood, meeting the perfect partner (much, much later), or ending up in the right car accident.
The right car accident? Yeah. I got hit on my bike a couple decades ago. The car’s bumper hit me just below the knee, and both bones were shattered to smithereens. The doctor said when I got older I might not be able to walk. But I was still young at the time and could walk just fine after the cast came off, four months later. I wasn’t going to cry about possible old-age problems when the immediate news was good: I would get a settlement that was just enough, after expenses, to pay off the last third of the mortgage on my house.
So of course, good luck like that (along with being white, fairly healthy, and smart enough to get by) has helped me enjoy life, but I also know for sure that escaping consumerism is a huge part of it these days. My partner got pulled into it too. He agrees. Sometimes we just sit and look at each other, smiling.
Hard to believe? These days, the human Soul can get buried under an avalanche of false advertising, persistent ugly habits, strong social forces, and—of course—actual stuff. The powers that be (big companies and the governments they like to manipulate) have trapped us into spending our money to satisfy their greed. And I do mean trapped. We absolutely need to buy certain things. They pick our pockets, big bills and small change both.
In tribal times, there was no such thing as money, and people survived. Even now some cultures live without it, but they’ve almost disappeared. Today, The Economy needs us, and we have to obey, whether we’re enjoying it or feel like a slave.
New Stuff Sucks is about the pleasures of escaping our craziest, most frustrating “economic imperatives.” It’s about refusing to be that obedient consumer, to whatever extent it’s enjoyable. Everyone’s different. We’re wonderfully diverse in what we want and have to have. So make this personal, not didactic. Be inspired to save money, get creative, slow down, find a unique identity. Or just read the posts for their information and entertainment value.
Above all, have fun!