Throw out perfectly good goods


“Change your TV, change your life”- an actual slogan. I heard it last night. I’d also like to note, before i continue, the commercials where a woman throws her perfectly good washing machine into a pool so she will need to buy a new “red” one- to enrich her life. Also the commercial where the couple throws their phones into a lake because they are tired of them.

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Now i ask you, is a company encouraging the disposal of working cell phones into a lake really showing any consideration for the environment whatsoever?

In their defense: It’s drama, its a joke, you’re not to take it literally.. . .Fine. . ..But wouldn’t this be the same argument racists use to defend themselves? The redneck who uses the word Nig*** in a joke is just kidding right? No big deal. Humour is a very effective way to soften people up to a new idea. It allows the person to convey a message, but hold on to an easy way out. That way, if someone points out the negative aspect of your message, you can easily divert blame by stating that you were not serious and that the message should not be taken lightly. Dudes who pick up lots of girls in bars use this technique constantly; joke to a girl that you want to take her home, if she laughs- you stated your intentions and she did not object. On the other hand if she doesn’t find it funny- “hey relax chick, i was just joking”. Guys trying to pick up chicks is pretty harmless, things like racism and environmental destruction are not.

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What message are these companies softening? Well obviously they’re not condoning the disposal of cellphones into lakes, this is not the intention of the ad. However, the ad is intended to convince you to throw out your perfectly good phone- from this they stand to make millions. Now if i joke to a friend that they have an ugly phone and should throw it out; the total environmental destruction from that message would be very very slight. If that message is repeated to millions of people (as happens on TV), the environmental affect is very great. I absolutely guarantee that somewhere some idiot has thrown his phone into a lake as a means of disposal and he got the idea from this commercial. Conversely, the somewhat smarter portion of the population disposed on their phones into a landfill when they tired of the colour.

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16 Responses to “Throw out perfectly good goods”

  1. Jules Cosby Says:

    Remi, what is there to worry about!? The environment is an imaginary, like “equality” or “social justice”, that you loony lefties cooked up after smoking too much pot. And even if there WAS a problem, you know that our reason and technical know-how will get us out of it.

    …right…

    Reminds me of the Simpsons episode when the cat burglar leads the townsfolk into the country to dig for treasure. When they can’t find it and need to get out of the hole they’ve built, their best solution is to keep digging.

    “No no no, dig UP, stupid!”

  2. remistevens Says:

    but dude, you can dig up- you just gotta do it on an incline. How would this apply to the real world? . . . ..remember my theories on recycling and the recycling myth? Continued excess wasting will lead to increased allure of what’s being wasted- An abundant resources is always a good one. I suppose we should keep pitching out furniture and cell phones and canola- just make sure everything gets to the dump- for anyone surfing by im really not kidding. check my front post, landfills are more environmentally friendly than recycling.. . . .

    …Waste, oh yes, get wasted and keep digging, .. . . .help our reason and technical know-how succeed by creating lots of data to work with.

  3. exuvia Says:

    I am amazed; and loosing hope… The tech world to our rescue. Bolts and metal sheet, fiber glass and poly… for consciousness.

    “There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see”
    Leonardo da Vinci

    Greetings
    Exuvia

  4. remistevens Says:

    Question is, how many people would move from the “do not see” group to the “shown” group if there was more effort to spread truth to the public. We are constantly bombarded with misinformation about how wonderful it is to consume. The counter argument exists, but its very quiet because of its lack of profitability.

    Its pretty hard to see if you’ve never been shown.

  5. exuvia Says:

    Did some one just get trampled to death opening the doors for a consumer happy crowd to a Christmas sale?

    “Hey Joe, you won’t believe what happened today as I went shopping; I got my discount over some ones dead body; look at the thing, its beautiful!”

    I have got to be beyond left.

    Greetings
    Exuvia

  6. exuvia Says:

    I like the digging on an incline. Brilliant!

  7. remistevens Says:

    sure sure, you’re right
    maybe the negative side of consumption is pretty obvious if youre bothering to look.

    reminds me of freeway speeders; in all honesty, these people cause death all the time- all in the interest of getting somewhere faster than the guy in the next lane.

    “guess what Joe, im going to make it home from work 2 mins earlier than usual and i only had to kill a family of 4 to do it- talk about lucky!”

  8. Heather Says:

    The commercial with the couple throwing their phones in the lake is particularly disturbing to me. My child sees that while we watch shows in the early evening…and all he sees are smily people disgarding their phones in a lake.

    The concept is just a blatant expression of planned obselecence… think disposable swiffers…

    I’m wondering if this is in some way illegal. If not, I’d like to make it illegal. Common sense dictates that consuming disposable goods, goods designed to become obsolete, while there is the option to create long lasting similar products, is a serious problem for our environment, from cradle to grave.

    I say, let’s instigate a “service based economy”, you know, like putting the maytag man to work (there is a commercial I can respect). One of the only good news stories in the economic front is the fact that car repair shops are busy… people are looking after their shit, rather than passing it on, or throwing it in the garbage. Not only is this better for resource management, but it prevents people from going into debt for new crap. If people had been more prudent and done this a year ago, we probably wouldn’t have the mass collective debts that incured the market rollercoasters.

    I’m serious about making planned obselecence illegal. This policy will take some form in the future… it has to. Why not get it started now?

    • remistevens Says:

      hey, great comment. leave your link, i’d like to check out your material if its available.

      One good thing about a global recession is that it is making people care for their old shit, absolutely. But sadly, i don’t believe this will be enough to change the laws. We had a recent court case here in Canada about internet service providers ‘throttling’ their service. Basically, the connection in your house is capable of very high speed connections, but the company has the right to impede (throttle) this already existing service to offer to the customers who are unwilling to pay the high premiums a ‘cheaper’ crappier version.

      Take a finished product or service, purposely damage it, and sell it as though it were a cheaper version.

      Light bulbs are a great example. Ever wonder how they are able to tell you how many hours the bulb will last? The glue that holds the glass to the metal is specially designed to give way after a certain time and burn out the bulb. However, Edison’s light bulb is still lit! Imagine the landfill space filled with old light bulbs- the figure must be staggering. All for profit.

      Wages and product costs have been meticulously tweeked to work against us. There is a massive slice of the population left with few options when purchasing the goods they want. You can have a plasma TV designed to break in 1 year, or you can have no plasma TV.

      Then, of course, there are all the wasted resources that have gone into researching how to degrade the product. A ‘cheaper’ product can actually have a higher production cost, all in the interest of making it break sooner. It’s insane.

      Well, im on board. Lets make planned obselecence illegal. I’ll get started on a post about this. Although we’re up against corporate lobbyists who have nothing else to do but push for deregulation of everything until governments are completely powerless- and then they always defend themselves by stating that their actions are justified because they’re permitted under laws. Laws that they can change, and the average concerned citizen cannot. . . … uh, now im just rambling.

      Really good idea though.
      Thanks

  9. exuvia Says:

    “planned obselecence illegal”

    That is a great idea; count me in!

    I don’t know how we got so divided, rugged individualism maybe, but in our division we have been ruled over; reduced to consumers shopping for a fix.

    Greetings
    Exuvia

  10. poeticnoetic Says:

    It’s nice to hear like minds prodding the problem. And I am hopeful for a solution…

    I’ve thought at times: “what will be my life’s work?” “What can I do to inspire future generations?”. In a world so riddled with problems, I guess we all have our pick. But I think this might be mine – everything just seems to come back to it.

    Sarah MacLachlan’s song “World on Fire” (http://www.sarahmclachlan.com/lyrics.jsp?song_id=7704) speaks to this… and the last two lines sum it up:

    “The more we take the less we become
    The fortune of one man means less for some”

    The link to my blog is: http://earthonaplatter.wordpress.com/

    I’ve just started posting my thoughts and am still figuring out all the options on WordPress… so forgive the mess!

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