Blog of a Million Dreams

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not Buying It.


I'm almost through reading Judith Levine's book, "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping".

The title is fantastic. The idea is spectacular. Can you go a whole year without shopping?

Sadly, the content seems to have very little to do with the actual title.

Full Disclosure: I'm a single parent living in the most expensive part of the country. 95% of my salary goes to my mortgage (6 years ago it went to my rent). How did I do it? Buy a teeny townhouse for half a million dollars? By not buying crap. I don't go to Starbucks, I cut my own hair (Youtube has great how to videos) and I shop at thrift stores.

So, I was very interested in reading this book. After all, I could probably try to go a whole year not buying the little things I buy...you know, the special items at the grocery store that look so appealing and you get them home and they're not. Or those thrift store shoes I had to have. And maybe I could start a garden or make more handmade items.

This book is not written with me in mind.

The book is written for a very specific audience. It is written for a left leaning, shopoholic without sound reasoning skills. Sadly, there are enough people around for whom this book might work. But they won't pick it up. You know who that audience is; the Starbucks buying, credit card loving, subprime mortgage buying, SUV driving, out for dinner every night, preachy, guilt-ridden yuppie. The person who is the first to rant and rave about global warming and ecology...but provides enough trash to fill a landfill in a month--that throws out more than a 200 unit apartment complex--the person that fires up an SUV and hires a gardener to spray the whole block with a leafblower. The kind of person who wouldn't know a rake if he/she stepped on it. Yet, assauges that guilt by railing against immigration reform and, although paying that gardener next to nothing throughout the year, throws a twenty his way for Christmas.

Her book makes no sense and is a rant against Bush and right wing policies. I think it is supposed to be anti-consumerism, but I often found her arguments to be just the opposite. I don't think the author truly understands her premise. However, the book is so poorly written it's hard to tell just what Ms. Levine thinks.

In fact, having plowed through most of this book (which I got from the library), I really think the author's problem(s) run much deeper than just shopping. I suspect a low I.Q.

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