Wednesday, March 31, 2010

30 march “The Story Of Stuff”

I thought, as we seemed to enjoy the water bottle film, I would share the original film that the same person made. It is about 20 minutes long and it is very good and eye opening. It, again, has really just gone along with a lot of what I have been discovering. It really is worth a watch so if you can spare the time in your busy day, PLEASE watch it. It really puts it ALL into perspective. I am finishing up my dress today and this way I can check in for ‘breaks’ to see what some of you think about it.

I like how they mention that over 50 years ago (1950’s everyone) this level of consumerism and production wasn’t happening. Very interesting and also, it isn’t about Rep or Dem or Socialism or anything, it is about common sense reality of how we are living, making, and spending. I hope you are at least intrigued by the video. I also like how she mentions upon reading Industrial Design journals of the 1950’s that they were very open about the fact that they were building things to look good and to eventually break down to increase consumerism. It was only theory at that point, but boy oh boy is it in practice today!

Don’t worry my next blog will be my dress, dress form, recipes etc, the usual.


  1. This is so dead on! So true and real. It is my hope that many more see this and come to realize what is happening. Thank you so much for posting this. Makes me want to RUN back to the 50's right now! Let's all try to make this world in which we live in a better one! I'm on board!

  2. My little cottage was built in 1938 and it has very few, yet tiny, closets. When I moved in I took the most charming little nook and turned it into a walk-in closet. Where was I suppose to put all my stuff?

    A recent inspiration (suspiciously after seeing the TV Show "Hoarders") I decided it's time to pare down. I don't need all those clothes, shoes, crafting supplies. I've been getting rid of it little by little, but have decided to take a week of vacation when it's sunny and warm and REALLY pare down, donate, recycle, or sell all the nameless stuff that is not used, worn or needed.

    I'm now a 1945 chick. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without.

    Love your blog!


  3. Barbara-wonderful, I know we can do it!
    Susan-that's great. I know what you mean about the closets. I had dreams of the walk in with the dressing room etc, but really? How much do we need? I may be living in 1956, but being my age, I would have been a war bride, so I feel more 40's sometimes, not really wanting all the 'new' products anymore like sliced bread, store bought jam etc.

  4. This was great! Just what we talked about before. "Consumerism" in and of itself is not bad, it's how it is done that's the problem. Just as our country is of the people, for the people, by the people (as it should be), consumerism should be of the people, for the people, by the people, not of the big government/big business, for the big government/big business, by big government/big business.

  5. I think that is the main problem with the world one seems to have common sense! I don't know why, but it seems to be something a lot of people lack. In my experience as a manager in a business, I find it very frustrating to have to explain simple things that I think people should just know as a common sense practice! Then, in my new job, I am even more frustrated that I am being trained in a manner that implies that I, MYSELF, probably don't have the common sense to KNOW without having things explained to me.
    So much of the 'green' movement and living within your means is just common sense...but it's so much easier to blame society for your own short-comings, I guess.
    (sorry, i get very heated when it comes to using you noodle and having common sense.):)

  6. I think the only problem is, even sometimes common sense is not always apparent because we are unaware of what is actually happen. To have the 'sense' to do the 'right thing' can NOT be apparrent if the 'real thing' is hidden from us. Shopping at BJ's and Walmart it's easy to just think, "Oh, it's cheap who does it hurt, so the small business fails" but even besides that we just are shown or are aware of the how much mining of the world, abuse of foriegn lands, destruction to ALL our air, loss of local jobs and the very NEEDs we now find we have "I HAVE to have the latest computer or my internet won't work. I need a new cell phone as this one of 6 mos. is broken". Even common sense is lost when the whole picture is not apparaent and so much is PUT INTO HIDING it from us, that it makes it hard. For example, who knew the amount of carcinagens burnt up from garbage or the amount of pollution created from recycling? We are told recycling is good, but then it makes us feel we can still buy and buy as long as we recycle, when really common sense tells us just to buy less, reuse what we do have and make more of our own stuff so we don't have all the packaging. It is sad that it is only now that we are realizing how much we have been lied to by advertising, the big corporations etc. I am only scared we are too late.

  7. I just discovered your blog; so very intersiting espeacially for some one my age.That video was so informative; so much going on that we have no contol of and never wiil. Thank you for sharing; I see I have lots to read here.
    Happy Easter,

  8. In my city, until the 1980s, the hole city used to stop at 3 o'clock to go to the church in the easter, ask if anyone knows the meaning of easter today, almost everyone just think about eating chocolate and receiving easter eggs.(Sorry for my english, i'm from Brazil)

  9. There's a documentary called "The Century of the Self" made in Britain a few years ago about how using Freud's theories, corporations learned how to use mind control to manipulate the masses to buy things they didn't need.
    An excerpt from the description of the fist episode:

    "The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

    Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticizing the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

    It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today's world."

    It's worth the watch, though it's kind of scary to learn how we've all been brainwashed over the decades.

    The link:

  10. Gingerella_wow,thanks. I might have to watch that. I have decided, my forays out of 1956 are okay if it is for something of import (not to watch a 'modern' movie say). I knew of Bernays, but had NO idea he was related to Frued. I had forgot about him until I watched this video and then to know that. It is funny how over the centuries the masses were always used but usually revolted, but now we have the cow like passivity of the overfed lap dog and can't lift our heads away from our vast amounts of entertainment to even realize we our being so controlled. Very scary indeed, especially since I am not sure we can get free. But, I feel if we Apronites can grow, perhaps there will be a little sub-culture of those aware and trying to live 'outside' the overconsuming, overproduced, exo-community lifestlye that can be so easy.

  11. I understand about not wanting to throw modern movies into the mix, but I'd like to suggest one that is worth it (in my opinion): Wall-e. Now, it is an animated movie from Disney/Pixar, BUT underneath the surface topic of love and friendship, there's a strong message of how dangerous having too much stuff can be and a fanciful look at where we're headed as a planet and as a race if we keep on the path we're on. It's even entertaining to boot. :) I do see the irony of a movie such as this coming from Disney of all people, but their most recent films with Pixar have been having this pro-environmental/anti-stuff slant which is very nice to see.

  12. Wonderful video! She has done a superb job of examining the contrived, convoluted economic-social system that has become the reality of today. Dianne

  13. Donna, Thanks so much for posting this video and the "Bottled Water" one. Both were so interesting and quite thought provoking. I watched them with my 2 older children and it led to some nice discussions.

    I'm not sure in which post you mentioned downscaling your kitchen utensils but I've really been thinking about doing the same thing. My kitchen remodel is almost done and I'm able to use it enough to do some unpacking. As I've done so I've culled thru and put a few things in the donation box. This after I sorted and tossed during the packing. My main motivation is that I want my new kitchen to feel "unstuffed", almost "airy". I keep thinking how families used this kitchen for 80 years and I'm lucky enough to design the remodel to suit my preferences. So even thought we didn't make it bigger I shouldn't have any trouble storing my utensils and equipment.


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