The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78659 Message #1423080
Posted By: Don Firth
28-Feb-05 - 02:06 PM
Thread Name: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Subject: RE: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Speaking of "catching poverty" like a disease, there is another disease out there that is of epidemic proportions.
On the local news a couple of days ago, they showed shots of a long line of people who had camped for two days in front of a store that specializes in athletic shoes. You know, the flashy kind, complete with swoops and tail-fins, with computer chips in the heels that adjust the high-tech gel pads inside to conform to the ever-changing weight distribution of your foot, etc., and leave footprints large enough to start sasquatch rumors. It seems there is a new model out. $250 a pair (made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, undoubtedly). The store announced that they will be getting a very limited supply, so people, mostly kids, started lining up days in advance, complete with lawn chairs and sleeping bags, like a line-up for tickets to a rock concert. When I was their age, I had an allowance of $10.00 a week, and compared to some of my friends, I thought Dad was treating me very generously. Where do the kids in that line-up get that much money!??
They reflect that cultural morass that is so all-pervasive in this country that the majority of people think it is the normal way to live—the only way to live. They're so screwed up by it that they think they will plunge to the bottom of the ladder if they don't get a pair of those silly-ass shoes. Then, of course, a few months from now, out comes another model . . . and the puppets keep right on dancing to whatever tune is being played to them.
Highly germane to the subject of this thread are two related PBS television specials that ran a couple of years ago. NPR's Scott Simon hosted the shows. They were packed with information. They were startling, a bit horrifying at times, and seemed all too familiar. Even though they were aired a couple of years ago, they still have an active website, and I invite people to go there, click on the links, read the material, take the quizzes, and generally browse. There is a lot there that is thought provoking and a bit disturbing. The quizzes will let you check your own attitudes.
Some of you may have seen the programs. The titles were Affluenza and Escape from Affluenza. Even if you have, browse the website anyway. Most informative.
Are we circling the drain?
And here's more.