Monday, March 26, 2007

Found an additional tidbit to my Not Buying It post:

A couple in New York is attempting one year to live with as minimal effect on the environment as possible. The article on the New York Times explains how they are taking a Waldenesque ideal into an urbanites' lifestyle. In both cases of this couple and Judith Levine's experience, they began this experiment by shopping like crazy, although Ms. Levine didn't splurge on boots.

Ms. Levine was also quite political in her last few months writing the experience of Not Buying It. Given that it was the 2004 US Presidential election year, I felt the months leading towards the election and her entries there felt out of place, although the general direction of having more time for what is truly important (active citizenship) is given its due.

Are we so satiated by life's contraptions and gewgews that we have sunk into our apathy for the current state of political affairs in the country? Would we be better citizens if we didn't have so much junk in our lives? Isn't it somewhat true that we'd have more time to invest in coursing our anger and frustration over the government if we weren't so wrapped up in petty matters? Would the revolutionaries of yore have been so productive if they had been surrounded by all the email/cellphones/distractions we have now? I don't expect a luddite revolution, but it doesn't do us any good to be blindsided by our toys if the rest of the nation is falling by the wayside. There would be time to talk, think, plan, and do.


Katrina said...

I so agree with this, Mila. There's just no question, all you have to do is observe: Many intelligent people I know get bored and dislike discussing serious matters like politics for more than a few minutes, but will talk nonstop about showbiz gossip, fashion, etc. They'll put a lot more thought on what car to buy than who to vote for. And if it comes down to a choice between helping the environment and caprice, they don't even think twice. Not that I'm much better...I've been giving commuting a try lately (in the summer heat!), and I wouldn't choose it either. :-/

Mila Tan said...

A good friend of mine (a lawyer) will not talk about anything "serious", so I've learned not to expect great discussions with her. Which is a pity, since my favorite memories seem to revolve around good, difficult conversations with friends.

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