Understanding Consumerism: from the Mouths of Bumblebees and Blueberries

As I said yesterday, I could have gone with the bee thing and gone on a different route: consumerism. This idea came up with the knowledge that as Americans, we are spending way too much money on honey, giving China millions of dollars. Just on honey. These aren’t hard-and-fast numbers, but it does convey the fact that we consume way too much. Blogging about consumerism makes me think of a book called The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian. It’s basically about a kid who blogs about consumerism, calling his blogs “sermons”, but there are more complexities that I won’t tell you about. It’s a good book, you should read it. But back to consumerism! (By the way, the blueberry part comes at the end, you’ll understand after you read it)

Do you ever look at how much random, useless stuff we have? If you’ve moved recently, you know that when you’re going through your belongings, you look at things and say to yourself, “Why in the world do I have this?” How many birthday gifts do we discard after a couple months because they’re just not that interesting anymore? When we compare our lifestyles to those of people in third world countries, we should be ashamed of how much we have (this is on my mind, because the kids are learning about Haiti at Vacation Bible School this week). I’m not going to lie, I enjoy living like this. I like my smart phone; I like being five minutes away from a Target; I like being able to decorate my room with fun stuff (or rather, let my sister decorate our room with fun stuff). I like that. But sometimes, we take all this just a little bit too far. We take our belongings, our comforts, for granted. We keep wanting more and more and more, and then, nothing satisfies us. Those are the dangers of consumerism, and I confess that I fall short of where I want to be.

I personally think that if people all over the world stopped buying stuff that they really don’t need, we’d be able to make our ginormous economic problem better. I’m no economist, but have you ever noticed that we go into these horrible depressions right after times of big spending? The Roaring Twenties, anyone? Maybe if we hadn’t spent so much during those times, we wouldn’t have crashed the way we did. And maybe, maybe we could understand the concept of sharing. Woah! Big concept right there! It’s not like we haven’t learned that sharing is caring from kindergarten or anything… But yeah, instead of buying stupid, silly things that we don’t need, maybe we could use that money to help people who actually need it. Have a little compassion people. Do you really need the newest iPhone, even though you already have one in perfect working condition? Do you really need that shirt, even though you have ten others in different colors? I didn’t think so.

And the saddest thing about consumerism is that ultimately, it doesn’t improve our lives, it makes them worse. We think that more is better, but then we keep wanting more and more and more, and as I said above, nothing satisfies us at that point. Instead of making us happier, which is what we think these things are going to do, they make us more depressed and steeped in the stuff that doesn’t matter at all. And then we don’t appreciate what we really have. I think this clip from the Veggie Tales Madame Blueberrry movie is just about right. It took me awhile to find the perfect one, but this particular clip has bits from the movie to make a full picture of what I’m trying to say here. Think of it as my thesis statement. Yay for Veggie Tales!

An Anti-Mean People March!

Earlier this year, I was at a friend’s party, and we were playing a game, though I don’t remember what it was called. The object of the game is for one person to read out a question, and people write down anonymous answers, and the “Chooser” guesses who answered what. One question was, If you could go on a march for some cause, what would it be? So I think a little, and I lean over to the friend on my left and ask her, “Do you think I could make up an “Anti-Haters” March?” And she says, “Sure! But no! Make it an “Anti-Mean People March”! It would be so you!” So, even though the point is to put down answers that the Chooser won’t guess, I put down an Anti-Mean People March. I’m sure you can figure out who the Chooser guessed when she saw that one… But it was still fun to put down that answer, and it’s become somewhat of an inside joke between my friends and I.

So here we go on my Anti-Mean People March, er…Rant.

You know what bugs me? People who get upset and angry and start hatin’ for no real reason at all. Like the whole Chick-fil-A issue. That issue just bothers me, ‘cause it’s so stupid. Seriously, one person can’t express his opinion without one person taking offense, and another person taking offense at that? And suddenly, everybody’s taking sides, and people don’t even remember what the issue’s about anymore. It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Seriously, you’ve never come across people who don’t have views that are different from yours? Especially on the same-sex marriage debate. Practically everybody except for me has some sort of view about the rights of homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual people. And the reason I don’t have a view about rights is because I’m not into politics. I’d rather concern myself with what I can do for these people. And for me, that’s love. Yup. Love.

It’s really sad, because a lot of the haters of these people who have different sexual orientations are Christians. But they’re not being real Christians. They’re not following in Christ’s footsteps and loving people. What happened to “God is love”?!? Anyways, I’m not going to rant. Too much. But still, I know a couple people who are homosexuals and bisexuals, and I love them. I don’t love their sexual orientation, but I love them. There’s a difference. But a lot of people don’t see that difference. So, here’s my anti-mean people march. God is the one who saves and heals, and God can bring these people to the sexual orientation that pleases Him. Please, if you are a homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual, don’t get offended at me. I know that God loves you, and because of God, I love you too. So, this actually isn’t just an Anti-Mean People March, it’s a LOVE MARCH!! Yay!! I’m like Martin Luther King, Jr., spreading my opinion in a friendly, peaceful way J

But I can’t stand how some people say, “God HATES gay people! Gay people are going to HELL!” AGH! Seriously people, you are so narrow-minded!! Go, check your Bible before you start making judgments for God about people you haven’t even taken the time to know and understand. And these people who just need love hear all this HATING that’s going around! And they assume that all people believe this, and that God DOES hate them and so do all Christians and that the Bible condemns them but all that is NONSENSE! Sorry, it just really bothers me. There’s the protest part of my march right there. The point is that God loves gay people. In the Bible, Jesus says, “And love your neighbor as yourself”. He didn’t add, “Except for homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual people. You can love the prostitutes, love the murderers, love the thieves, you can even love the Gentiles, but don’t you DARE love people with different sexual orientations as yourselves.” NO! That would have been ridiculous! But that’s how people interpret the Bible, and it’s STUPID! People really need to broaden their horizons, and learn a little bit of love.

We’re on a love march people. It was a misnomer the whole time. Because even the mean people deserve love, which is why I’m not calling it an Anti-Mean People March. I love you. Yes, you. I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, a Democrat, a Republican, a Christian, an Atheist, a Buddhist, a lover, or a hater.

But I love you.

Epylle Spydre

Where Disney Went Wrong

Okay, I’ve got a confession to make. I have just been choosing random topics and writing about them, not caring about what people would want to read. I realized that I’ve been getting more pleasure from my stats page than from my actual posts. So, I’ve decided to write something that I will enjoy, and hopefully you’ll enjoy as well.

I feel like ranting. It’s really quite fun, at least on my side it is. Okay, so I’m listening to Disney songs, trying to figure out what to write, and the answer suddenly hits me: I’m listening to Disney songs. I’m gonna rant about Disney!! It’s not Disney that is so bad, there’s just one thing that really bothers me: love at first sight. So, in actuality, I’m not ranting about Disney, I’m ranting about love at first sight. Though, Beauty and the Beast breaks away from that, having a girl fall in love with a horrifying, ugly beast with a beautiful heart. Good job, Disney. Now fix the others.

Love at first sight is so dumb. Sometimes, it’s actually legit, which is really cool, but the love at first sight in Disney movies and well, practically any other movie, is stupid. Fall in love with a personality, not a face, people! Seriously, people say all the time, “He’s soooooo hot!!” or “Just look at that body” or, here’s my favorite, “Every guy dreams of finding a girl who looks like you.” (line from Legally Blonde the Musical, more really good music, listen to it!) It is true, half the time, people are just saying that, and they’re not really “in love” with that person, but still. And I’m not going to be a hypocrite, claiming I don’t notice when there are attractive people around, but still. I’m not gonna go all dewy eyes on some dude just ‘cause I think he’s cute.

Seriously, our culture puts too much store into appearances. Actually, I think most cultures do that. It’s just a human thing to do: to love those that are smart, strong, or beautiful. And me talking about this on my blog is not going to change it at all, because it’s just how human nature works. Sorry, guys. “I am ashamed” (Jacques from Finding Nemo, I really do allude a lot of movies in these posts, don’t I? It’s really harder not to make references when you’re listening to Disney). Okay, but aside the fact that human nature loves those who are beautiful, our culture still puts too much store into appearances. Girls have to be bone-thin, suuuuper tan, with faces so perfect you’re not sure if they’re real or not. And guys have it bad too, though it’s not as obvious. Guys have to be well-built, with nice arms and abs. The tall, lanky ones just don’t make it on the covers of magazines, unless their face is just gorgeous. It’s sad. WHO SAYS BEAUTY CAN BE JUDGED FROM THE OUTSIDE???? I just don’t get it. Oh, and speaking of magazines, I heard a story on the radio about some girl who petitioned Seventeen magazine to put real girls in the magazine and succeeded! Isn’t that cool? Stories like that just make me happy.

But back to my original idea. Love at first sight is dumb. Beauty isn’t skin-deep, it’s based on personality. I don’t love my friends because they’re physically beautiful but because they have amazing hearts. As a friend of mine once said, physical beauty can be taken away from you. Personality can’t be taken away from you, and it depends on you to make a decision whether it’s beautiful or not.  And I mean, sometimes love at first sight actually happens, like with some dude from the band, The Afters (listen to them too!), but I don’t know which one it is. I’m totally cool with real love at first sight (I’m a hopeless romantic, for future reference), it’s just infatuation with a face that annoys me. Alas, my ranting doesn’t really do much except amuse the few people who will read this. Oh well.

Epylle Spydre