stuff gets examined.

Posts Tagged ‘materialism

In the Future #4

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Thanks to inattention on my part, there’s a boondoggle on the direction of “” that takes viewers here instead of the actual current version of Balloonland. I’m posting In the Future #4 here so my fan and regular reader can see it anyhow, until the kerfuffle is fixed.

Click on the picture below if you want to see the whole thing.  navigate away from this page as quickly as possible if you don’t want to get involved.


Written by balloonhed

October 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

Big Boomer Pants

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Dum Baby Boomers – they came along with their big big ideas and changed everything. they exploded the consumer world, changed how things worked with their self-fulfilling free-money way of living. They turned everything inside out, making it hard to keep up for generation X and Y to even start on the same path.  We’re stuck in a culture made way too big, trying to afford houses and retirement on jobs that are not forever and rapidly disappearing retirement pensions. And they’re all getting old, refusing to leave the good jobs, but expecting when they do that we’ll take care of them with the diminished resources they’ve left behind. hrrrumph.

Written by balloonhed

February 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Everyday Alphabet – Zz – Zombie Zeitgeist

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Zombie Zeitgeist


Written by balloonhed

February 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm


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The following things are Crap: stuff that may amuse in the moment, but will eventually end up in a junk drawer or box of miscellaneous stuff. And likely broken.

• Non-brand-name toys made in China (especially those annoying little rip-off toy cars that lose their wheels immediately)

• Pretty much anything put in a kid’s “loot bag” from a party.

• Toys that come in fast food kid’s meal in order to make kids make you buy them.

• Almost anything from a “dollar store” that isn’t bought with a specific purpose in mind (i.e., nails, tape). And, more often than not, once the specific purpose they were bought for is met, they become crap: I’ve had the misfortune to cross paths with a number of one- or two-use dollar store screwdrivers, for instance.

• 90% of stuff for sale at shopping mall kiosks.

• Kid’s stickers

• Virtually everything in a souvenir store or stall at a fair/carnival/etc

Crap is a modern innovation that comes out of the consumer desire to fill a hole with something. Usually, that hole is an instant gratification urge or some desire to express individuality by owning unusual or unique (to your immediate world) Crap. Children are especially vulnerable to the Crap urge, and parents, in their efforts to quell the cries, are the biggest enablers of Crap vendors. Holidays and special events are also big entry-points for crap – the urge to fill a stocking with “novelties” often results in a bunch of stuff that seems amusing in the moment, but just breaks and otherwise gets left around to annoy.

I speculate that the propagation of Crap is as big a threat as bigscreen teevees and cars to the long-term health of the world. It’s largely unnoticed – it doesn’t get advertised on teevee, and is very cheap. I suspect it would be difficult to find out how much Crap is manufactured and sold every year.

We need to realize the negative impact Crap has on us and our environment. We need to stop enabling the production of Crap.

Written by balloonhed

February 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Working Towards a, uh, Perfect World

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Some thoughts, emphasizing proactivity. I think. Don’t think of it as socialism – think of it as generous consumption-enabling, ensuring the health of the herd your business harvests, etc etc.  Tuned for Canada as I’m a CDN – substitute your local power structure’s idiosyncrasies as required.

Pay Everyone a Basic Salary.

Argument: Let’s face it – the only purpose we all serve in this modern capitalized world is to buy stuff. The world economy revolves entirely on capitalistic growth, which is all about how much money and stuff changes hands in your country. There aren’t very many signs that this is going to change soon – we (as a global culture, not “we” individuals, many of whom think this behaviour is a bad idea) shrug off catastrophic failures in this questionable system and continue with the exact same behaviours. Why not enable everyone? Currently, the funds paid to the long-term unemployed/unemployable are barely enough to cover their rent and food, which forces them to make money for “extras” (i.e., the stuff we all want that isn’t a dry bed and basic food) by participating in underground/under-the-table activities such as crime, drug-dealing, and construction flagging. This is all labour and economic activity that is being at least partially lost to the larger economy. By giving everybody some sort of basic salary that comfortably covers rent, food, and buying stuff, everyone will drive the consumption machine.

Naturally, many people will counter this with the “That will play into human laziness! Where’s the drive to succeed?” argument. Sure it will, for many. But I’m not suggesting a huge salary – an allowance, short of a true reward. Actually getting a job and working would augment this basic salary.

Tax Corporations. I mean, tax them more.

Argument: Apparently Canada is a safe place for business, due to our apparently bullet-proof banking system, which is probably result of the same big-government tendencies our current stoopid government is so against. Said government is currently cutting corporate taxes to “encourage job creation”. Hmm – would not Canada’s reputation for being a sound banking centre, coupled with our respect for the “Rule of Law” (perhaps a little shaken by our experiences during the recent G20) be enough of a draw to overcome some taxing issues? It doesn’t take a genius (just a non-partisan one, I guess) to realize that some of the features a corporation would find desirable in a host country derive from a well-cared for population. And, in the end, we’re also an affluent, first-world nation that’s in a good position to buy stuff and services – they’ll make less money, but still make some.

Legalize Common Illegal Drugs

Argument: People are going to keep using this stuff no matter what you do. Currently, the desire for illegal drugs is fuelling crime, gang activity, and violence, and causing a lot of money to disappear from the larger economy. If it is legalized and sold in a controlled manner its price will drop due to the reduction of risk and complexity of providing products, reducing the unpleasant means required to fund its acquisition. It will also create business opportunities and something else that can be taxed. It will create lots of secondary economic and employment opportunities like rehab and habit management services, fuel tourism (“I’m going to BC for the bud harvest, dude!”).  Common illegals like pot are arguably less or equally as harmful as alcohol, which has been allowed as “legal” through a combination of conservative and political lobbying. It might be good to drop the “that’s the way it is” blindfold for a while and re-examine.

Make Higher Education Free

Argument: C’mon, North America is getting its bum kicked on education scores. Educated consumers and workers has always been one of its draws, but we’re going to lose that. Human populations are a resource like trees, coal, or sunshine. You can have low-value, low-grade resources that interested parties can get anywhere,  or you can invest in them and get something that’s worth more. Right now, we’ve got loads of people crushed by student debt, sectors of higher education dying out because they don’t enable their graduates to adequately pay off their debt, and many, many more who simply can’t undertake the effort due to financial concerns.  Perhaps the larger group of us can take a hit on their becoming educated, then later on enjoy the benefits of having an additional engineer, scientist, doctor, or what have you participating in our economy.

Expropriate Bank Machine Fees

Argument: Canadian banks are hugely profitable, and like most corporations, seem able to invent new charges for convenience services as they want.  Consumers complain and gripe, but in the end we’re all lazy and easily/subconsciously tricked into using convenience services.  Greedy banks – if they’re going to charge 1.75 to use a conveniently-located bank machine when our home bank is not nearby, they should pay some of that back to support the consumers they’re feeding off.  These funds could be used to pay for any of the costly measures I’m suggesting here. The resulting improvement of individual consumer’s ability to consume would improve the victimized bank’s bottom line, thereby making the bank and its investors happy as well.

. . . OR, if you prefer . . .

Expropriate a Portion of Bank/Corporate profits

Argument: Canadian banks are hugely profitable, and like most corporations, seem able to invent new charges for convenience services as they want. They have the masses of consumers at their mercy, and therefore should subsidize their existence, kind of like resource-exploitation firms are expected to rehabilitate the forests or mountain-sides they ravage. The resulting improvement of individual consumer’s ability to consume would improve the victimized bank’s bottom line, thereby making the bank and its investors happy as well.

Written by balloonhed

January 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Everyday Alphabet – Mm – Malicious Money

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malicious money

Written by balloonhed

January 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Black Friday

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I haven’t researched the source of the name, so I chose to interpret “Black Friday” as a negative thing. It sums up all that is repugnant in the collective behavior of the citizens of the U.S.A. – Full blinders-on self indulgence, ignore your collapsing infrastructure, abandoned houses, unemployed masses, sick and uncared for young and minorities, deny the impact your crazed consumption has on the social and environmental health of the rest of the world as it is hypnotized by the false images you splash out and tries to become you. An imbecile sitting in front of a leaking dam masturbating instead of trying to fix the leaks before the whole thing collapses.

I also seek it as a compression of the behavior we all indulge in, especially those of us living in North America. The fact that Black Friday is still so huge and various parties are trying to import it to Canada indicates we still have a lot to learn.