drieuxster (drieuxster) wrote,

Keeping Up With The Whomever

I was amused in a phone conversation with a friend of mine that we both worry about George Carlin's Schticht about "Stuff", and that we are both working on getting down to the Stuff that we really need. I ran into the problem the other way around yesterday while helping a friend move out of their current digs - and the clear need to get past their 'pack rat syndrome'. So while we are wandering down the thought lines of "In Praise of Foppery" as potentially the "cure all" for the fiasco of american culture - why not take on the threat to National Security that is the fiasco of consumerism.

In theory the American Economic Marvel is that we have been able to move forward, give or take, because the consumers have been willing to continue buying product, even if that meant leveraging their houses. In some cases that leveraging of the equity in their house is a 'reasonable enough play' - since the cash-out Refi is for a lower rate that makes real and reasonable sense.

But what some have noticed is that on top of the Federal Fiscal Policy of passing off the tax burden onto the unborn - the current Housing Bubble is also shifting a cost onto the unborn - the fun and excitement that the baby boomers have had being ever so chic and trendy. I mean who can forget those valiant words from the Reagan Era
He Who Dies With The Most Toys, Wins!
or that other bumper sticker philosophy of the nineties
We are spending our children's Inheritence.
Ah yes, good old fashion american honesty. Words that makes one feel ever so much better about the 'true american way' that of course Red Hollywood is not making films about.

So while morrisa is reasonably accurate in
Wow. Living in your brane and the daily spelunking you have to do to navigate your tangled neural paths and THEN writing about them... the whole process is a fine excuse for ambivalence about the scary prospect of kitting out your new home that you're about to live in without your lifelong compatriot, but that won't buy you a couch or spatulas.
[ cf In Praise of Foppery: The Twin Gay Problems. ]
since clearly one can read the approach of blogging as denial syndrome. I would prefer to argue the matter the other way around - what if having a plan and a framework in which to hang that plan takes precedence over merely filling one's crib with stuff.

So why not start at the top of the stack? At the american cultural crisis of Consumerism? And ask the questions, how much of what drives that process is the failed cultural paradigms of keeping up with the jones? So that we are clear on this point, I really have little problems with a viable market economy, and providing the Consumers with a wide range of goods and services at competative market prices. I do have problems with turning that whole process into a dangerous religious cult. Which is a centeral theme in my whole
Putting the Dubya Back into Wmas!
As the Argument from Intelligent Design Demands!
Since it is so not clear to me that the so called Holiday Season is really about anything Holier than the cultural crisis of Consumerism.

As many are aware the NeoConClownCarCrew can not tell a communist from a socialist from someone who merely wishes to maintain the Glass-Stengal Act to protect the Consumers from the Predatory Practices of the conflict of interests that arise when the investment banking side of the house imposes obligations on the 'market analysts' about which equity positions are viable investment strategies for the pedestrian stock purchaster. So unfortunately one MUST be careful about how one actually talks about Economic Issues, or the NeoConClownCarCrew gets all creeped out that one is some how advocating the whole Al-qaeda Satanic Gay HomoZeXual Zombie Pirate Cyborg Pilots of Iraqi Flying Saucers imposing excessive governmental regulation on the free market system that won the Cold War, like they did on 09/11/2001.

So I do want to be culturally senstive to their deep seated unresolved Urges And Needs. I mean was informed this morning by NewsMax that there is this HORROR that the border patrol is wearing uniforms that have the Tag "Made In Mexico" and that somehow this is not a good thing... But they never did resolve if they supported the Idea of Paying Americans what it would take to make those uniforms here in America? Or were we suppose to start up some new variation on the old chain gang system and have convict labor make the border patrol unifroms at competitive prices....

I have little problem with parking the Religious Kult of "Free Marketeer" in bed with the Religious Kult of "Consumerism" as, well, dangerous cults that are more ideology than actualities. As Dangerous to our "true american way of life" as was the dangerous Religious Kult of Communism before it. But I am not convinced that we can cure americans of these by simply bombing some other collection of nations. What I can hope for is that by working on what are 'viable ideologies' that provide a sufficiency of utilitarian guidelines - that we can help americans over the hump from Dangerous Ideological Kults and into the safer space of living with the 'true american way of life'.

So why not start that process in the middle of the change in my life? Why not work out why I do some of the silly things that I do? And which of them have a sufficiency of utility that they could be formalized in a way that others could use them as guidelines for their variations on a theme? My Mythological Ambition of getting one of those "cute in the catelog" IKEA loft beds died the horrid and brutal death of commenters suggesting that they were not a practical solution. A mental note I took with me while power shopping, and Ruth Concurred. Nice Idea In Theory - but there are implementation details....

So why not try to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time?

Why not wonder about how much of what gets bashed as [ Politically | Patriotically ] Correct is merely, well, the polite way of saying that a person has adopted a mere 'ideological excuse' without ever working out what was really going on? In this fun new direction, there is that problem with how to make the 'correct decision' - and that clearly has to start with recognizing that I am making decisions. They either have a basis in some system, or they are merely random events.

The traditional keeping up with the jones did at least offer a community centric approach to formalizing what can be done - that one should not be rushing out there and imposing more on the community than what the straw person jones can actually do. But as we have seen with the backlash of the Sixties, and various other rejectionist movements, there comes a time when the pressure to merely keep up appearances has over run any utility.

But IF I am not planning to merely keep up with those around me, Then am I really only competing with myself? And how does such a system avoid falling into the sloppy solopsistic ego mania that has been the pulp fiction of the "libertarianist" ideological mythos of the 'self made man' and it's all american Icon The Rugged Individualist.

So while there are obviously simple organizational issues that go with moving on with one's life. Which of them are driven by unstated premises that have been merely absorbed as a part of the 'american cultural melieu' - and this would be a great time to step away from the flow and ponder which of them to keep.


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