Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In light of Barker being a difficult and often confusing read for me, I
can not help but feel that I am reading an historical account or ancient
text when looking at the chapter titled "a new world disorder." Partly
because I am not finished with the chapter yet and waiting for Barker to
say "but that has all changed" and the other part is that the onslaught
of technology which speeds up our ever-changing history mixed with the rapid
decrease of our economy, our consumerism is coming almost to a halt. The
section called "patterns of consumption" seems so archaic, take for example
"the majority of western societies has sufficient housing, transportation,
and income to be in a post-scarcity situation" (152) when now - and
probably less than a year from when this book was written - one can say not
true to all three above mentioned. It's kind of scary how fragile
capitalism is because when we are dealing with an economic meltdown and
have only sought a band-aid to fix the problem (that is really only
benefiting the boardroom,) one can only ask: what's going to happen next?

Another aspect of this read that I am finding interesting is the concept
of "consumption of signs" (153) because a little voice is telling me
that as we fall further down the rabbit hole of consuming and begin to
realize that consumption will inevitably end, our value signs will have
to shift to something that has more permanence. Maybe the green jobs and
humanitarianism will be the new Gucci/Versace; as I experience
the changes I can't help but think that those values of "aesthetic
signs" are going to dip back into the cracks and be altered by the
effects of greed that our society has gobbled up so ferociously. The
more permanent will be held in assisting and enlightening until our society
is back up and running and then Gucci/Versace will rear it's pretty little
head again :)

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