I have grasped so much from storyofstuff-videos, especially this one: the purpose of fashion and trends (from 10:20), the real costs of our stuff, the differences between Americans and Germans…
You see, in Germany there is no “civic duty to shop” as mentioned in this video, we still live by “be hard-working and thrifty” (there is the saying “The German lives to work and the French works to live” – and enjoys the good things in life).
But we are getting there, too: especially the youth values consumption and fashion more an more and judges their peers by it.
And to show that there are Germans who are concerned with consumption, too: watch the great kabarett artists (not a comedian but political satirist who dares, in true jester fashion, to hold a mirror up to everyone) Volker Pispers (from 9:18)
Since without subtitles here a transcript:
The lion hunts down an antelope, feeds until it has had enough, and then lies in the sun saying “That was delicious, I’m well.” And then it waits until it gets hungry again. The lion doesn’t come up with the idea of telling itself: “It took me 45 minutes to catch this antelope. If I hurry I’m able to manage four more today, than I can take tomorrow off.” The lion isn’t daft, after all. It didn’t study Business Administration. Unlike the MBA, the lion knows exactly that, after hunting down five antelopes today, it cannot takes tomorrow off but needs to build a refrigerator to keep the things cool. On the next day off it has to work for electricity to run the fridge, then it has to build a house around it. This house has to be guarded, and the vicious circle doesn’t stop ever again. Never again the lion gets the chance to lie in the sun saying “That was delicious, I’m well.”
Only the human possessing everything can talked into believing needing to hunt down more and more antelopes every year to be able to buy every year the latest fridge model. The human isn’t happy with lying in the sun or spending time with friends and beer. The human is only happy if he owns today more than yesterday, tomorrow more than today, and the day after tomorrow more than tomorrow. The driving force behind this pathogenic economic system is
Buying stuff you down need with money you don’t own to impress people you can’t stand.