March 21, 2007

Re: Crazy Writers And The Consumerist Grupocalypse


Civic life is hard, let's go shopping:
So I'm waiting for Benjamin Barber, the guy who wrote Jihad vs McWorld, who's about to talk to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about his new book with the parental-attention-grabbing title, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole.

Amazon's synopsis says kids are being brandwashed into nothing but consumers, not citizens, and adults are stuck in a state of market-induced, instant gratification-seeking, perpetual adolescence. It promises an attack on even that patron saint of urban, networked parenting, Steven Johnson. Lehrer opens the segment with a nod to "that column a few weeks ago" where David Brooks laid into hipster parents.

It's gonna be sweet, right? No, the whole thing turns out to be Apple freaks calling in to defend their iPhone lust. If you can glean anything else useful from listening, let me know. [wnyc via archinect]

Meanwhile, in other news from the front in the war against unsustainable consumerism, a pair of writers and their 2-yo daughter have embarked on a year-long Walden Pond-like, No Impact lifestyle experiment. The only thing they want to generate is fodder for the book. No carbon-fueled consumption; no garbage, just compost; no shopping, except for locally grown food; cloth diapers, obviously; single razor blades [hey!].

So a couple of hippies move off the grid. Big deal, right? Except they didn't. They live on the 9th floor of a pre-war co-op on lower Fifth Avenue, with Eames rockers and Chloe boots, and no toilet paper. Which the NY Times reporter mentions three times. Four if you count the headline.

The Year Without Toilet Paper [nyt]

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