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02-06-2006
  1
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Is "fast" consumerism destroying aesthetics?
Americans buy too much stuff, and the stuff we buy is too cheap. This tendency has a dramatic impact on the American lifestyle and culture. It’s the American “fast food mentality.” There is little aesthetic component to the American assessment of quality. It’s as if our collective aesthetic sense has atrophied from disuse.



Last edited by strawberry daiquiri; 02-06-2006 at 09:14 AM.
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04-06-2006
  2
trendsetter
 
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"Discuss"... This feels like a topic for an essay.

Not too sure quite where you want to go with this - esp considering that there is a large percentage of TFS'ers that are based outside of the US.

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04-06-2006
  3
rising star
 
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more is more.

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04-06-2006
  4
scenester
 
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It's not just a tendency of buyers... manufacturers want to make money. Things don't last long, forcing people to buy new versions frequently.

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04-06-2006
  5
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you're right JPM, arguably, there is only one value left in american society-greed. that's not to say, new york ,for example, doesn't have any counterculture to offer...

and even when rebellion was "widespread", it really wasn't, the hippies are as much of a stereotype now, as they were in the 1960's. Only a small percentage of the population fully took on the lifestyle. the others were on their way to buying (out of greed or fear or whatever else makes us buy "cheap" stuff)

but, i do agree, "cheap is so expensive". it's a shame many of us totally agree with the motto, but can't live it..
i know i physically can't...

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04-06-2006
  6
windowshopping
 
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Ah... it IS an essay. A short one that I wrote.

Unfortunately, TFS doesn't allow me to link back to the entire essay (the link was deleted), and I can't post the entire essay here.

If you'd like to read it in it's entirety, PM me and I'll send it to you.

I'd be very interested in comparing different cultures on this point. But it's so subjective... how could it possibly be measured other than by the seat of the pants.

JPM

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05-06-2006
  7
trendsetter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastry
you're right JPM, arguably, there is only one value left in american society-greed.
Well put, sad but true. Greed is replacing human values fast, not just in the US but around the world.

I also agree w/JohnPaul, when I was living in the US I was rather shocked, no offense:p , at how little aesthetics was valued in daily life...not only was it not valued, but it was almost looked down upon as a frivolity and waste of time. I think this goes back to the country's Puritan roots.

One thing I love about Japan is that beauty is highly valued even in the little daily things....and I don't mean expensive or luxurious things, but in the smallest tasks like arranging flowers or brewing tea.

In response to Pastry and JohnPaul, I do think it's very possible to live an aesthetically sophisticated life...valuing art, beauty...without spending extra money. It's not about luxury, it's about heightening awareness of subtle sensory stimuli like color, balance, texture, etc. as well as seeing the significance in such things like artisanal skills or the beauty of nature, or a humble job well done.

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05-06-2006
  8
windowshopping
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melisande
I also agree w/JohnPaul, when I was living in the US I was rather shocked, no offense:p , at how little aesthetics was valued in daily life...not only was it not valued, but it was almost looked down upon as a frivolity and waste of time. I think this goes back to the country's Puritan roots.
I think its more of a post industrial, postwar media generation thing.

We can make (or these days have made) almost anything dirt cheap. But as consumers, americans have become fixated almost exclusively on economy, and the sick part isn't that we focus on economy so we can live better. we focus on economy so we can afford to have more so we can LOOK like we live better. Everything in our value system is outwardly based.

With the global media revolution, where the rest of the world is learning to monetize everything in life following the lessons and lead of american marketing, this value system is slowly becoming universal.

Blech.

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05-06-2006
  9
windowshopping
 
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Quote:
Americans buy too much stuff, and the stuff we buy is too cheap
Says WHO?? When is it expensive enough, and when does it last long enough, when everything is made out of rubber and socks start at $500??

Is everyone on this board a socialist?

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14-05-2008
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An interesting discussion that I thought we might want to pick up again ...

What Melisande says about aesthetics not being valued here is interesting.

I've noticed that so much of what we have is very new and very ugly. I often think people don't know better ... that they don't know what beautiful is. That they almost haven't seen it ...

I'm interested to hear others' opinions ... what do you think?

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14-05-2008
  11
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Quote:
I've noticed that so much of what we have is very new and very ugly.
Agreed. I was in a spell where I would buy cheap clothes from the mall.

My mother said, "Don't buy from there. I can take you to stores where the clothing is more expensive but the quality is so much better."

I am also sick of people just throwing things on. Sure it's not all about what you look like on the outside, but first impressions are crucial in many situations. It also tells me how much you value yourself.

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14-05-2008
  12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_levante View Post
I am also sick of people just throwing things on. Sure it's not all about what you look like on the outside, but first impressions are crucial in many situations. It also tells me how much you value yourself.
Why do we appreciate art? Nature? Anything "beautiful"? Because humans have an ability to appreciate the aesthetic. So why WOULDN'T people want to make themselves a part of the world's beauty by dressing well? I've never understood dressing sloppily or trashily.

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14-05-2008
  13
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Quote:
but, i do agree, "cheap is so expensive". it's a shame many of us totally agree with the motto, but can't live it..
i know i physically can't...
maybe this quote from pastry is a more accurate title and reflection of the topic of this thread...

i think we should change it so that more people will be attracted to the topic...
because when i clicked on it i expected to find tips on how to find stylish items for less...:p

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14-05-2008
  14
oh! darling
 
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Quote:
I've never understood dressing sloppily or trashily.
Same, same.

There are ways to look good without spending a fortune. I just don't know why people "give up" and wear their Crocs.

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14-05-2008
  15
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
maybe this quote from pastry is a more accurate title and reflection of the topic of this thread...

i think we should change it so that more people will be attracted to the topic...
because when i clicked on it i expected to find tips on how to find stylish items for less...:p
You're right, it was never a good title ... hopefully the new one's better.

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