life, sustainability
Comments 4

Stupid pink bra (Being human in 2014)

Universe3

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all this knowledge about how fucked up our consumer culture is so I just resort back to what I know and I go out and I buy more stuff. Recently I impulse-bought a neon pink bra from Victoria’s Secret. It really shocked me that I did that, because mostly I’ve curbed my impulse spending and I remember standing in line thinking ‘oh shit, I’m totally just going to buy this pink bra for $25 without thinking about whether I really need it or not, what else I can use it with, or anything like that’. I almost got a rush – I was feeling so rebellious.

So it’s not like I don’t get it. Buying stuff feels good. But then a few days laterΒ  while putting this pink bra on, I looked at the tag and it said ‘made in Sri Lanka’ and I just can’t help thinking about the person in Sri Lanka who made it. Day in and day out this person is making bras for pennies in the hope that one day capitalism will catch up with Sri Lanka and they will be able to get a nice job that will allow them to afford a nice house with nice things. Take all my days and all my time in exchange for a flat screen TV and a smart phone.

And if this is the ultimate meaning of life, I have to ask, what is the fucking point? Stupid pink bra. Of course, we now know that capitalism will never catch up with Sri Lanka, it’s barely able to keep the people it has already lifted out of poverty afloat and unless things change drastically, capitalism might soon set the whole world on fire.

mother-nature-gun1

Cause that’s the thing, isn’t it? You look back on history and all these battles that once seemed so hopeless were against all odds, somehow, won. Slavery, feudalism, religious oppression, civil rights in America and then the world, women’s liberation. Although we have to keep fighting for them, they were accomplished to some degree. But global capitalism is just gaining speed every year. There is absolutely no end in sight. In fact, if you speak out against capitalism you are considered ‘strange’, ‘stupid’, or even ‘dangerous’. And for the first time in world history there exists a system that has proven itself capable of destroying the entire planet. It’s not just humans inflicting suffering on humans anymore, or empires trashing their region of the planet. Global capitalism is so toxic and ever-expanding. There is not one place left untouched. Mass extinction of species. Climate change. Dead zones in overfished, acidic oceans. Desertification. City-wide slums. Pollution and plastic found in the most remote locations in the world. And no end in sight.

We are trained to buy things and now buying things feels good. More people buying more things keep the system from collapsing but now the system is threatening our existence. Yet all the voices we are trained to listen to are saying ‘buy more stuff! You don’t want the system to collapse, do you?’

Universe1

So what do you do? How to you keep going, when it’s only to uncover more and more tragedy that you are powerless to stop.

I guess the same reason people always keep going. Because that’s all anyone can do. Keep reading, keep learning, keep connecting and keep discovering other amazing people out there. I think right now, in the Western world, in our material abundance, victory is the ability to say ‘fuck you, pink bra’, sit down quietly and make some art. Or food, or home improvement. Just make something. Write a story, even if no one is reading.

universeexpresshuman

By leaving a mark on the world, you empower yourself. It is your way of saying ‘I was here’ and I’m able to make something out of nothing – which, after all, is the oldest trick in the universe.

Stupid pink bra. It’s actually a really well made bra. It looks and fits well so I’m not angry at the bra itself. I’m angry today because I realized I’ve been tricked into believing my whole life that I was born into an enlightened era where the true potential of the human body and soul is realized. That is a lie. We’re still some distance away from the time where this ultimate mystery of the universe – this thing we call God or love or spirit – will guide our every decision. A time where we will be truly free to choose beauty, life and health for all things around us. These are still mostly dark times. Some days I really struggle to see the light. Some days I feel ridiculous for even being so consumed with these ideas when all I really need to do to feel better is step outside into the sunshine and re-join the hordes of consumer zombies who genuinely believes that happiness lies in the next Gucci bag that they will be able to buy. But life is about choices and I choose to live in reality. But man, it sucks. Some days it really sucks.

So I’m not exaggerating when I say this. Dear reader, thank you for reading. Thank you for allowing me to be heard. For being part of my journey through the universe at this time, when we both just happen to be human. It means the world to me and I hope you are able to find beauty in the little things, too. Thank you.

Universe2

4 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ConversationLife and commented:
    I like this post and the subtitle ‘Being Human in 2014′ because it is so true. On the surface it is about buying a piece of clothing, but really it is about the trap of this consumer culture we are stuck in. It really is a terrible thing a lot of the time. I mean we replace time spent doing things we love with people we love, with working more to buy things we think we will love. Then all these things we buy get old so we buy more, or we just feel bad so often we find relief in shopping or finding new things to buy. Pretty soon we have built our lives around the houses we own, the cars we drive, and the clothes we wear. We become empty suits and dresses, driving back and forth to empty houses and cities trying to have as good of a time as we can, wondering what the point of all of this is. It doesn’t sound much like life, maybe more like an imitation of life. Maybe that is it. The consumer culture is a large imitation of life. It is going through many motions with many things, but it is hard to see any meaning or point behind so much of it.

    What makes things worse is when we are faced with the consequences of this lifestyle on the rest of the world. In this post she sees the tag that says Sri Lanka. She knows a bit about the conditions of some of the laborers in clothing factories in Sri Lanka, and she knows they aren’t seeing much of the money from what she paid at the retail outlet. The difference here is that she knows something about the conditions there, she feels something is wrong, and she takes action to stand behind what she think is right. I like her suggestion for one way to slow down this materialistic consumer culture train – ‘Keep reading, keep learning, keep connecting and keep discovering other amazing people out there. I think right now, in the Western world, in our material abundance, victory is the ability to say β€˜fuck you, pink bra’, sit down quietly and make some art. Or food, or home improvement. Just make something. Write a story, even if no one is reading’.

  2. Sam John says

    oh. my. GOD. how absolutely beautiful, sincere and touching of a reveal. so on point, intelligent and well-written! your literary flow is a whole other zone of delightfullness joey. i literally felt my heart melt reading this piece of art. thank you for making the time and then focusing the energy into crafting this. please keep it up so i can stay up off your vibes, along with everyone else feelin’ you too! LOVE YOU doing what you do!

  3. I’m a regular reader of your blog and want to say “thank you” because your blog always reminds me of something important, simple, and basic of a life, which I tend to forget…

  4. Monique says

    Oh thank you. I thought I was alone. This is my first visit to your site and I can’t tell you how much relief I felt to read your comments that came so close to the everyday frustrations I feel. Thank you. And yes… I have learned to find beauty in the little things. What else is there?

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