|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Annie Leonard was on The Colbert Report the other day, espousing her monumental The Story of Stuff Project. Being that I’m always either working, consuming things, or doing other decadent things like lying in a tub of extra virgin olive oil, I simply don’t have 20 minutes to watch a full video lecture on exactly why my lifestyle was destroying the planet (olive oil baths take hours to draw, so I’m not going to waste that experience ever).
That said, I did catch snippets of her message here and there during the interview, and being that I received my questionable education from a very liberal school of liberal arts, I am not unaware of the issues she raises. I for one, like most people from the San Francisco Bay Area, like to think of himself as a member of the elite non-overconsuming class. We like to think that we’re reusing and recycling, and generally fighting the Man by our lifestyle choices — choices like buying Priuses, wearing only eco-friendly shoes and clothes bought during North Face sample sales, and eating things that we have grown, or were grown within 50 miles of our eco-friendly custom house designed by some Swedish dude.
Being a Postmodern Gentleman, I am also all about re-appropriating clothes from vintage and consignment stores, so i guess you can add “re-appropriate” to the list of “re’s” (recycle, reuse, reduce, reminisce…about-what-life-was-life-before-we-became-neurotic).
That said, I can’t help but think that as a “fashion” “blogger” I am contributing first-hand to the destruction of our ecosystem and general culture of glut that has made our nation so great. While I refashion old clothes all the time, I certainly buy NEW clothes all the time too, and I am definitely plugged into the mentality that “buying stuff makes you happy.” The very existence of this blog is because buying stuff makes me happy, and then bragging about that stuff makes me even happier.
I like to think that I am a little bit of a Connoisseur of Consumption, at least, because I am not just about buying things willy-nilly**, but rather I like to cultivate and consider my purchases widely, making an acquisition only after careful thought and all to further my notion of style and sustainability. In this way, I’m unlike the common farm pig, who will eat slop without prejudice, and more like the highly trained pig, who will use his incredible sense of smell to root out the finest truffles, and THEN be awarded with slop.
It is tough to reconcile these competing priorities. On the one hand I simply MUST have the latest Jean Paul Gaultier X addidas X OshKosh B’Gosh project, but on the other I do tend to feel guilty that it was probably made out of polar bear cub skin and unicorn ears in a horrible warehouse somewhere. What to do?
**F you guys I’m bringing back this term.