Archive for consumerism

Vegetarians’ Outrage

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by AF

Apparently, according to the UK Daily Mail, vegetarians are up in arms about the fact that supermarket giant Tesco is sending 5000 tons of meat a year to be burnt because it is to be used to produce electricity. Not the waste, the use!

Their article says…

“Consumers should be informed if any of their home electricity is being generated using the ‘macabre’ recycling of waste meat from supermarkets, campaigners said today.

Tesco now sends 5,000 tons of meat that has passed its sell-by date to be turned into enough National Grid electricity to power 600 homes for a year.

The retail giant has hailed the scheme as part of a ‘green’ drive which had enabled it to stop sending any of the waste it produces to environmentally damaging landfill sites.”   (full story here)

What is the matter with these people? I might not want to eat meat; I might not want to use or promote goods made from animal products; but if I were a vegetarian, I can’t see how that would give me the right to tell Tesco what to do with all the disgusting amount of waste produced by our utterly ridiculous sell-by date system. Most of the food that is scrapped is perfectly good, but our litigation and health and safety conscious culture now means that most companies are forced to add in a safety factor of several hundred percent.

Tesco’s action seems to me to be the least stupid thing the UK has done in a long time.

What’s all that all about? What a shambles our society has become!

The Rise of the Common Man

Posted in Miscellaneous, People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by AF

Brits at least tend to complain endlessly about their lot. But there was a time when, unless you were born into “genteel society”, or the aristocracy, then you were pretty much stuck with the way things were for you and the best most people could hope for was that things would get no worse for them.

Those of “high birth rank” were generally reasonably wealthy simply as a by-product of their status and actually working for a living was mostly regarded as something that was way beneath them. Good craftsmen were of course valued, but they had to know their place and stay in it since they were almost entirely dependent upon patronage. Consequently, both the craftsmen and the general population were tightly controlled. The old joke was that the Squire said of the common people to the Parson, “You keep ’em ignorant, old boy, and I’ll keep ’em poor. That way they’ll stay in line.”

With the industrial revolution, though, came the beginnings of the consumer society, as ever increasing production required an ever expanding market – which meant that you and me had to become clients with disposable income.

So, when you feel that life is crowding in on you and you’re working your tail off for nothing, just remember how things have changed … haven’t they?

Er … well … I’m not so sure about that. I’d have to say, not a lot really. We’ve swapped one set of masters for another (in fact, many of them are the same people wearing a different hat). Where once patronage, obedience and snobbery were the key, now advertising, consumerism and spin have become our Aristocrats, Squires and Parsons. It’s repeatedly drummed into us that we really do need that new washing machine, car, fridge, 38″ Plasma TV, holiday in the Seychelles, or whatever. But do we? Or have we just been brainwashed?

No way am I advocating a return to the old ways of the nineteenth century and before, but what I am saying is that we’re being had! It’s all baloney! Yes, the labour saving appliances are great, but we only really need them in order to give us more time to work for the system. Likewise the car is necessary for us to get to/carry out our work and the TV is essential because we’ve been told it is and that’s where we get most of our daily dose of indoctrination from the conglomerates telling us what to buy next – oh and it also serves as the new “Parson” telling us what to think. The holiday in the Seychelles? Well, where we once worked without respite until we dropped at an early age, now we need to be maintained in reasonable working order so we can keep on going as both producers and customers, plus it’s another reason for us to keep on with the daily grind for the rest of the year – it’s both a carrot and a stick!

It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?