..because there must be more to life than buying stuff.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Buying the Whole Hobby Kit

Whatever happened to good old fashioned hobbies? I've got a new hobby myself - cycling. I remember when I used to cycle as a child. I found some old 10-speed, wrenched on it for awhile, and then rode it. The hobby consisted of riding the bike and occasionally fixing it. I was satisfied! What was missing?

Well, there weren't enough consumer moments. Luckily, this has been fixed. Today's budding cyclist must buy the whole kit. You're told right up front that if you "ever get serious" about this hobby, you'll want to "move up" with your equipment. Ah, there it is again.. The "move up". You're supposed to show how serious you are with your wallet.

The kit also contains the following indispensable items: (and don't think that these just count for cycling.. They can apply to scuba, running, hiking, scrapbooking, etc.)
  • Lots of specialized incidental equipment. This is made for (bikes, scuba, scrapbooking) only, so don't even THINK about adapting something cheaper for the purpose. For example, don't buy regular sunglasses when you could buy cycling sunglasses.
  • Magazine subscriptions. You'll have almost as much fun reading about your new hobby as you do doing it. Maybe more. Magazines also provide consumer opportunities on every page. EVERY SINGLE PAGE. Check out Bicycling Magazine sometime.
  • Clothing. Ok, for scuba I understand this. But must every other hobby have a uniform that you can buy right off the shelf at REI?
  • Websites - like I said, you're going to want to spend more time reading about your hobby than doing it, so start bookmarking. Besides, how else will you endlessly research the benefits of titanium shifter components for your bike, and compare prices?

Oh, I could rant on. Please, people. Get out there and do your hobbies. Have fun. Stop reading about them for a minute, stop buying accoutrements, and just ENJOY.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The first post

So, what is this blog about? The title says it all. Anticonsumerism. For too long we have been trained, encouraged, and peer-pressured into being good little consumers. You got it from Saturday morning television as children. You get it as adults from even your closest friends and coworkers. Back then it was a brand of toy, now it's Corian countertops.

Let's say you buy a new Honda. You drive it to work and the first question you get is, "So you'll be looking to move up into an Acura in a couple years, right?" This actually happened to me. It's all about the move-up, right? If you're not upgrading the "crap" you had last year, you're not making progress as an American.

Well, I've had enough. I've got a lot more to say and I'll be publishing it shortly. My next article will be about hobbies. You remember hobbies? Well, wait until you see what they've become.