mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Why Buy Nothing Day is... nothing...

A poster on a deal discussion message board I read keeps posting about Buy Nothing Day. Considering he's posting about buying nothing on a forum about buying stuff, he's not being too well recieved.

My day was more like buy everything day - I spent around $400, although about $300 will be coming back in rebates. Some of the stuff will wind up on eBay or for sale at Hamfest, but some of it is consumables that I can use - SD cards, blank DVD's and CD's, ect. If I can either make money reselling stuff or save money on stuff I would otherwise buy, it seems silly not to buy it in order to stick it to the man. Especially since I someday hope to be the man.

But Buy Nothing Day (BND) reminds me of the famous and fruitless attempts to boycott gas for a day in hopes of driving prices down. It never works, because people just buy gas the day before or the day after.

The way I see it, there are two ways to look at someone who says they are celebrating BND. The first is that they weren't going to buy anything in the first place. Either they don't have any money, or they don't like fighting crowds, or they have to work. Basically, they are doing what they would otherwise do, but pretending to be doing it in the name of protest. Chances are they bought stuff yesterday, will buy stuff tomorrow, and are using stuff they have bought in the past. Because unless you want to grow your own food, sew your own clothes out of cotton you grew yourself, and build your own computer out of sand, you are going to have to buy stuff.

The second possibility is that you actually did want to buy stuff, but aren't out of protest. Big whoop. Chances are you will buy the stuff some other day, so the big evil company that you hate so much still gets paid. But you might wind up paying more for whatever you are buying by skipping the sales. So the only person who loses is you.

I don't see what's so wrong with buying things. I can't make a hard drive, but I use hard drives, so I bought one at Staples today. It wasn't those flashy Maxtor ads that convinced me to buy a hard drive, but rather the massive quantity of movies I stole from eMule and BitTorrent.

If you want to protest against the consumer culture, join a commune, live off the land, and grow your own food while wearing homemade clothing made of burlap. Otherwise, admit that you are just a poser who is trying to look like you are a rebel while accomplishing nothing.


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