Sunday, October 31, 2010

Having or Being?

"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world." -- Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) in Fight Club

Network television is usually not too deep, but occassionally you get a little tidbit that has some insight, some deeper meaning. Just a week or so ago I saw this on C.S.I:

I've read bits and pieces of Erich Fromm but I think I'll have to pick up a book or two of his.

Consumerism and the religion of consumption are some of my favorite topics. Why do we measure the success of our country by how much the economy grows when we should be valuing the conservation and longevity of products?

We're all about "getting mine" instead of thinking about how that affects others. The whole concept of ownership is kinda bullshit anyway. We don't "own" anything. We're mere blips in the timeline of this planet and the universe. It's kinda odd ... atheists are usually portrayed as nihilists that don't care about anything because they don't have to answer to some "higher power". But, you have to wonder if the most harmful outlook to have is to believe that the Earth was just put here for our use and it will provide endlessly regardless of what we do to it. Or that we're just barreling towards "end of days" anyway and it doesn't matter how we damage the planet. Granted, my evidence may be largely anecdotal, but the atheists, agnostics, skeptics, Buddhists, etc. that I know have a lot more concern for the planet and the collective good than your typical "good" Christian.

Tyler Durden: "We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra."

Narrator: "Martha Stewart."

Tyler Durden: "Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and Strinne green stripe patterns." -- Fight Club


CyberKitten said...

I've been thinking of this a lot recently - especially as we go into the so-called Age of Austerity....

I predict a 'Thinking About' coming up....

Good clip BTW - I tried reading Fromm in my teens but couldn't get into it - too young I guess. I have a few of his books on my Wish List. You may have ust prompted me to buy them.

Oh, and Fishburne *totally* has the voice for a speech like that doesn't he?

dbackdad said...

Yeah, having Morpheus say something philosophical seems to give it added gravitas. He's got a great voice.

wunelle said...

(For some reason I'm not seeing a clip.)

I've also been thinking a bit on this lately. One of the Tea-Bagger keystones of climate change denihilism is this concept that the world is provided for us to exploit. If the god put minerals in the earth for us, how can he / she / it have meant to harm us with them? This leads to Hummers with "Kiss my carbon footprint" bumper stickers.

All part and parcel of our New Dark Age.

wunelle said...

Now I see the clip. Most interesting.