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  •  The Story of Stuff Poject, Annie Leonard (13+ / 0-)

    talks about what most impairs us in making change happen, or, as the case more frequently is: not.  

    I’ve come to see that we have two parts to ourselves; it’s almost like two muscles – a consumer muscle and a citizen muscle. Our consumer muscle, which is fed and exercised constantly, has grown strong. So strong that “consumer” has become our primary identity, our reason for being. We’re told so often that we’re a nation of consumers that we don’t blink when the media use “consumer” and “person” interchangeably.

    Meanwhile, our citizen muscle has gotten flabby. There’s no marketing campaign reminding us to engage as citizens. On the contrary, we’re bombarded with lists of simple things we can buy or do to save the planet, without going out of our way or breaking a sweat.

    No wonder that faced with daunting problems and discouraged by the intransigence of the status quo, we instinctively flex our power in the only way we know how – as consumers. Plastic garbage choking the oceans? Carry your own shopping bag. Formaldehyde in baby shampoo? Buy the brand with the green seal. Global warming threatening life as we know it? Change your lightbulb. (As Michael Maniates, a professor of political and environmental science at Allegheny College, says: “Never has so little been asked of so many.”)

    annie leonard

    The Killers talk about it in "Human", in the lyrics "are we human, or are we dancer?" As Brandon Flowers explained it, the lyric contemplates a Hunter S. Thompson quote, from not too long before his suicide in 2005: "We are raising a generation of dancers", people who are not choosing and changing, but following routines.

    p.s., I graduated from Allegheny College, recently ranked 20th in the nation among schools that most change lives. It changed mine, alright. Never before or since have I done a 4-man kegger on a fraternity house rooftop, so that by dawn we were howling like wolves at students heading out for breakfast and their 8AM classes. That'll leave a mark. :)

    One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Some pragmatists are exceptions.

    by Words In Action on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:14:51 AM PDT

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