A Little Rant About Consumerism

As someone who is opposed to rampant consumerism, I’m a little perplexed by this site – SmashMyIpod. My view is as follows. If you need something, then buy it. And once you’ve purchased it, use it until it dies of old age. If possible, once it has died, resurrect it and keep on using it.

I have, for example, a fifteen year old 32 inch Sony Trinitron television. I can afford to replace it with the latest LCD or plasma screen of equivalent or larger size. I don’t. Why not? Because I know that replacing it won’t make me happier than I am now. The benefits of the new television won’t be significantly higher than that which I already enjoy with my old TV.

Besides, there are significant disadvantages to buying a product for no good reason. The main disadvantage is that making, for example, a TV or an iPod uses significant environmental resource. That may be a price worth paying if you garner substantial benefit from the item that you are purchasing. If, however, you buy the item only to replace it a year or two later or, worse yet, just to smash it then you have damaged the environment needlessly.

We are, as I’m sure you are aware, living on a dying planet. It is dying because of our actions, and as the biosphere degrades so our quality of life will deteriorate. Perhaps the SmashMyiPod guy doesn’t care about global warming or pollution. Fair enough; after all, smashing a planet is a good deal more impressive than smashing an iPod. I suspect he will care if his house is flattened by a hurricane whose force has been amplified by run-away global warming.

The other view, of course, is that anyone can smash something. It takes talent to build and repair. Speaking of which, his website is nicely laid out. With all the dross on the internet, perhaps he should consider turning his constructive talent in this field to better ends.
By the way, if you are going to visit his site, please be aware the some racist cretins have been posting on it – and some of the postings are quite offensive.

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