Saturday, March 10, 2007


I intend to post some updates in a few days now that I finally have time to write, but right now I wanted to talk about something that happened last night. This details to me all the things that are currently wrong with American culture.

Last night I went to a meeting that was held at the house of a woman who is a member of this group. It was a potluck dinner meeting. This woman is a visiting professor by trade. She spends ten months out of the year living in various college town around the country teaching. The remaining two months she spends at her home here in town. She was home for spring break, which is why the meeting was held there. The reason she works is to afford her house and the constant renovations and new decorating jobs she takes on in it.

This house is a colossus. It is 2600 square feet, not counting the three car garage and full basement. It sits on a quarter acre in a prestigious part of town. It is full brick. She is constantly redoing the house. She recently visited specialty cabinet stores in seven states to find the perfect cabinet pulls for her new kitchen cabinets. (No, I am not kidding.) She installed recessed lighting in every room to better display her artwork. Her kitchen is state of the art, with a fridge that’s bigger than my stove and fridge combined. She used five pots to make spaghetti for the dinner. I almost laughed at this, because I made spaghetti for a similar sized group just last week and used one –ONE –pot. She has every kitchen gadget imaginable, including a gourmet garlic peeler and a three hundred dollar tomato knife that looks like a Klingon honor knife from Star Trek. She is constantly flying.

And get this –she is environmentally aware, or fairly so. She recycles. She put native plants in her yard. She is worried about climate change. But she sees no connection between her personal lifestyle and the state of the earth. She is the reason for the saying –if everyone lived like the average American, we’d need 6 Earths to sustain ourselves. I was just dumbfounded by the massive amount of overconsumption in this woman’s life.

And this is supposed to be the lifestyle to which we all aspire?


Blogger turnip said...

I was watching TV with my parents shortly after the big report from the large group of scientiests on global warming came out. They sat there all concerned and complaining how the government is doing anything and how everyone needs to stop driving SUVs, ect ect. They then proceeded to go out leaving every damn light on, chucking disposable cups in the trash (my mother is a germ-freak and thinks disposable is the best thing ever) ...I actually asked out loud (rhetorically) - "did anyone even hear that report on the news?" - they said "Yes of course, we were talking about it....why?"
Totally over their heads.

3/10/2007 10:08 AM  

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