Just a couple of days ago, I received my new laptop in the mail. It has Windows 8, a very nice and bright clear screen, and should last me at least until 2016, God willing. It was a steal at just over $400, and is working much faster and better than my old laptop. The reason I bought a new one was because my old laptop was having performance issues, especially related to videos and the hardware heating up to ridiculous levels. It’s about the same thing that happened to my other laptop about 3.5 years ago. It seems that laptops have a finite lifespan, especially how they are made today. In this consumerist, throw-away society, instead of fixing anything, it is often cheaper and less of a hassle to buy new.
But we can only take so much from the Earth before the Earth starts screaming at us to stop. We are the Takers of the world, destroying natural ecosystems all in the name of progress. It’s a shame, but most of the world, especially the first world, thinks like this. We extract resources from third world countries by lending them money that they could never pay back, then using their land and their people as collateral. So, now Africa is becoming a desolate wasteland with millions starving simply because the food growing there is headed to a first world country.
Sure, I could beat myself up about buying things I don’t necessarily need, but I do that so little that it is almost a non-issue for me. This laptop is the first major purchase I’ve made in almost 4 years, so it’s not like I’m accumulating a ridiculous amount of knick-knacks that nobody should ever buy because they are most likely made by either Chinese or Taiwanese children. Children who are never given a chance to succeed or follow their passions because they spend 16 hour days working in a toy or knick-knack factories. China makes so many of our useless goods, our excess stuff that we don’t even really appreciate anyway. So why do we own all this junk?
For the most part, the impulse to buy is an emotional one. Many people rampantly consume to fill a void in their life and to get their emotional needs partially met. It also makes them feel secure. And the market simply pumps more products out than anyone could ever want, but they just keep on plugging because they know that everyone seems to want the newest thing. I’ve seen this happen with the iPhone and iPad’s. First, the iPhone came out, and everyone had to get one, then the iPhone 2 came out, and everyone had to get one. Now I believe it’s up to 5. First the iPad, now the iPad 2. It’s the corporate mindset that they have to extract as much value from our natural resources in order to satisfy emotionally damaged people who don’t feel complete without a collection of unnecessary gadgets.
Most of these things are made in China, who pretty much owns the United States from a debt standpoint. They have made so much crap for us, because they will work for less money than us. It truly is a sad state of affairs because so many people in this country are looking for jobs, can’t find a job, or have simply given up looking for a job. We import far more than we export, and that’s never a good sign for any country, never mind the United States of America.
Most Americans have no idea what is going on, and how this kind of consumption can only go on for so long before we totally run out of resources on this planet. Pretty soon, we’ll have to start going to Mars just to get resources to build more fucking iPhone’s! We might even build a few factories over there, so that when the spaceship arrives to Earth, there will already be fully-assembled iPad’s and iPad 2’s. And don’t think we’ll stop there. Once we get the technology, we will extract resources from whole solar systems just to keep satisfying customer demands for a cell phone that can make pancakes for you. And all the landfills will be full of perfectly usable products, but things that would be considered “obsolete” by 99.9% of the world’s population.
Also, nothing is built to last anymore. Except maybe Duralast. Most of anything we buy breaks down within a few years, needing replacement. This cycle has to end sometime. Otherwise, we might even have disposable houses that only last 5 years, and then need to be replaced with a new one from scratch. And the resources dwindle while the landfills comprise half of the country at that point. It truly has to stop soon, or we will have nothing left.
We can only take so much from the Earth before the Earth has nothing left to give. It is the honest truth. And even though people continue to consume with reckless abandon, they know in their bones that a crash is coming. Either that or the Age of Enlightenment, which would be a much better situation. This is where we realize collectively what is going on, and we choose to be stewards of the Earth instead of exploiters and extractors. We live as one with nature and our home planet. We will realize just how meaningless the rat race is, and how pointless more than half of our possessions are. It was all done to fill a void, this rampant buying, and now look what it’s turned into. It could very well destroy the world and humanity as a whole, but let’s just hope it doesn’t get that far. There’s not much time left to stop this unbelievable consumerism, but if we reach another level of consciousness as a whole before a total crash of civilization, there may still be hope for us. Let us pray that is happens.
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