The Story of Stuff

If you’re a Rush Limbaugh fan this will likely drive you over the edge. If you’re a Crunchy Con you may like it a lot. If you’re a liberal you’ll likely say, “Ya think!?”

It will take you twenty minutes, but it’s quite interesting. Click here.

[Looking forward to discussion in the comments!]


16 responses to “The Story of Stuff

  1. lets see… I made it to the 2:41 mark and I had to throw up… extraction=trashing the planet. Puleeez!

    fools and their flash programing as soon parted.

    al sends

    *oh, and not a Rush fan.

  2. oh, my goodness… this is one of the most horrible bits of foolishness I have ever seen/heard.

    “We use energy to mix toxic chemicals in with the natural resources to make toxic contaminated products.” Yep that’s what we do…

    And sometimes we stick needles into babies to watch them cry. Of course some of you Neanderthals used to call them small pox vaccines, losers.

    al sends

  3. Al sends … what? A knee jerk, says I.

    I suppose I am just crunchy enough to think a lot of this is sensible.

    – Consumerism is bad.
    – Large corporations are about profit, which isn’t automatically right, no matter what the greedmeisters, er, Republicans say.
    – The environment should be protected and stewarded, and the government should be involved in that at some level.
    – Local is better than global.
    – Pollution, exploitation, and economic injustice are all bad. We support all three every day, but bigger government is not the answer.
    – In these matters, culture and religion are more important than economics and politics. Changing governments might only make things worse.
    – The best things in life cannot be bought. Rampant American consumerism is a worship problem.

    I should recycle but I don’t.

  4. And were there some logical fallacies in it? Yes.

    – There are only 4% of the original trees from North America. Sounds dire till you consider that we have replaced them to the extent that there are now more trees than when we got here.

    – Aggregate happiness started declining right at the same time that big business invented planned obsolescence. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Every morning I wake up and the sun rises. Look what I did!

    But these don’t negate the things that are right in it.

    The basic contention is right: the planet can only do so much. Christian stewardship is the answer. And our rampant consumerism, enshrined in a culture that worships the dollar, is a big part of the problem. People ARE negatively impacted all along the way from “extraction” to “disposal.” We are responsible, under the Triune God, for that.

  5. Knee jerk… hah! A knee to the groin for the socialists who hate poor people and put this stinker together, says I.

    The video starts out with a horrible bit of propaganda. We (the US) are trashing the planet. “Resource extraction is a fancy word for natural resource exploitation; which is a fancy word for trashing the planet.” “We cut down the trees, we blow up the mountains to get the minerals, use up ALL the water and wipe out the animals.” “…we’re (the US) are using more than our share (of resources)” Nothing screams “don’t listen to me” like overselling your position in the first segment.

    If I have time I will go through the other four sections, but come on dude. This lady is a socialist. “Our share” should be decided by her friends. The trees we cut down today are different than the trees we cut down to clear her lot and frame her house. The only way to not use up ALL the water is to keep people from drinking it. Of course that means we need fewer people.

    This country was built through “resource exploitation” and we are now rich enough to handle having those resources cut off. We will make do… most of us anyway. They working poor? They will suffer. The really poor (read third worlders)? They will suffer more. The air in Mexico will cleaner and there will be fewer Mexicans to breathe it. A win-win for the Tides Foundation, producers of this video.

    I think American consumerism is camped out with all the other isms in the world. And that camp should busted up and the bums run out of the park. What I don’t want is for rich western pride to crush the poorest of the poor underfoot in our effort to get that particular monkey off our back.

    al sends

  6. I don’t think the post hoc argument is necessarily appropriate, but it could be. There seems to be a confluence of conditions in the post-war west that made the decline toward cultural depression possible, perhaps inevitable. Certainly one of these factors was the rise in consumerism, but consumerism is likely a product of other factors.

    At any rate, consumer satisfaction has been elevated to a supreme virtue in our culture, and this is only possible in a culture in which consumerism is the standard of value, of good. It seems clear that we extract, produce, distribute, consume and dispose in ways that are unwise, ungodly and unsustainable. I’m not at all in favor of living in caves and trading rocks with each other (to borrow from Doug Wilson), but I’m also not in favor of wasting resources, whether they’re rapidly diminishing or not.

    I think it is time for Christians to say these things in a Christian (and not just a conservative/republican) way. To borrow from another friend, Why did we give these issues away to the liberals? These are our issues.

    Al, I agree that the video was full of liberal presuppositions. There were several groaners in it. But I don’t think it wise to, um, miss the forest for the trees. Something has gone wrong. Households are overrun with debt. The insatiable desire for stuff (and accessories for our stuff) is madness, and to think that it has no effect on anyone but our own individual selves is, well, more madness. It is, indeed, a spiritual issue.

  7. I told David on the phone that I agree with everyone here (video too) that consumerism is a hellish philosophy. God is replaced by a I-Phone and there is more comfort in air conditioning than there is in Holy Spirit. I hate it.

    I just cannot take this video serriously. Wal-Mart is a sypmtom of the problem it is not the problem. That is MHO anyway.

    al sends
    (I am working on my Justice sermon now… this fits in nicely.)

  8. You and David talk on the phone!?

    I’m jealous.

    Unless, of course, you’re talking on a disposable, over-extracted, toxically-manufactured, carelessly-distributed, over-consumed and unsoundly-disposed-of iPhone. In which case, “Sinner!”

  9. I wasn’t able to make it past the four minute mark on the video. Even though there may be a nugget of truth in the video somewhere, it’s packaged like the steaming hot nuggets that I usually avoid stepping in. Another reason I had to turn it off was because Bug, (my 7 yo, for those who don’t know) was hanging around and was very interested – and even though she was talking as if we were a bunch of elementary students, I was worried he’d pick up on something I didn’t want him to.

    I want to know the truth – really. Just package it as such and not wrapped up with other ulterior motives. There really should be a balanced Christian voice on these issues.

    Oh… and I love how David ends one of his comments with, “and I should recycle but I don’t.” Guilt of all guilts… somehow the sum of our earthly stewardship gets wrapped up in whether or not we recycle. I laught at this only because as someone who has driven around a trunkful of old newspapers for about a month, I can identify with it.

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