However, I swear that I won't pull a ONE and burnout and quit. I will continue to be a Stalwart Moderate, sporadically posting meandering essays with varying levels of quality to my blog. I'm just going to have to find new places to troll. It shouldn't be difficult. As a moderate, I can disagree with just about anyone.
Another pursuit I've taken up, rather by accident, is educating the youth. A younger friend of mine was shopping for an engagement ring. Always interested when a younger man decides to join the ranks of married men, I decided to see how he was doing on instant message:
Older Gent [9:13 AM]: Did you get engaged yet?
Young Buck [9:13 AM]: do i look stupid?
Older Gent [9:14 AM]: I thought you were shopping for a ring.
Older Gent [9:14 AM]: Hey, I was "stupid" enough to do it. [get married]
Young Buck [9:15 AM]: no, you crazy? no way i'm going to drop $10k
Older Gent [9:15 AM]: $10K for a ring???? F - that!
Young Buck [9:15 AM]: ya man, its the new standard
Older Gent [9:15 AM]: Don't believe it.
Older Gent [9:16 AM]: If your woman believes it, just think what you'll have to drop for a house.
Young Buck [9:20 AM]: told you, you're and old man, times are different
Young Buck [9:20 AM]: 1 cart is the min
Older Gent [9:22 AM]: I'd run away. I'm telling you, women have fallen for a sales pitch hook line and sinker.
Older Gent [9:22 AM]: There'll never be enough money to satisfy that desire
Older Gent [9:23 AM]: I don't mean to say anything bad about your girlfriend.
Young Buck [9:23 AM]: haha / you're not with the times
Older Gent [9:24 AM]: But I know guys who married really nice women who turned out to leave them because they "wanted more"
Older Gent [9:24 AM]: and more
Older Gent [9:24 AM]: and more
Older Gent [9:24 AM]: It's the consumer disease
Older Gent [9:25 AM]: women are the most aflicted.
Older Gent [9:26 AM]: house, trips, furniture, appliances, cars.... it adds up
Older Gent [9:26 AM]: and it starts with 10K rings
Older Gent [9:27 AM]: don't mean to scare you, kid. but think about it.
Young Buck [9:34 AM]: thanks for the advice
So, if anyone is reading this, do you think I was too harsh? Or was I way off because he appears smart enough not to spend $10,000 on a piece of gold with a shiny rock that someone says is the standard (aka minimum) purchase. Where did this standard come from? Why do groups of people accept such arbitrary requirements?
I only reacted because it reminded me so much of a friend of mine who's wife suddenly left (frivolous divorce) because she wasn't satisfied and they were always fighting over money they didn't have which she still to wanted to spend. At the time, I called it the consumer disease and told him that women feel the need (more than men) to obtain material things right away. They are the target of a larger portion of advertising because, I think, their feelings of entitlement are easier for advertisers to exploit than any of the weakness men have. Men have better resistance to marketing than women, but not perfect.
The theme of consumerism is one which I'd like to explore more deeply, but I doubt I will due to the usual constraints of time and energy. I do find our willingness to accept truths that are marketed to us and willful blindness to the affects of the forces of marketing on our psyche disturbing. I think it is the single worst threat to society and capitalism and the most important gap in our education system.