I loved Holidays when I was a kid, but these days I just can’t stand the relentless materialism. The obnoxious ads that equate money spent on consumer goods with “love” make me sick to my stomach.
I’m not giving you the Puritan rant about plastic Santas and American kids who gobble sugary junk and have too many toys. I’m not against pleasure. But somehow they have to face the cost to everyone else on the globe of this “richness”, this “freedom”, this “generosity”.
There’s a link between global suffering and exploitation and the way mammoth corporations like Target and Walmart operate. It’s not enough for Americans to drop a few dollars in the Salvation Army kettle before they sit down to unwrap gifts made by poverty-stricken children and their overworked mothers and fathers– gifts made from materials that poison the workers who make them. If every American could see the process that results in that designer outfit, that diamond ring or electronic gizmo, I think people would realize that the world would be better if it had never been made.
Americans are not only buying in to this destructive system, though their movies and music and TV and the Internet they’re advertising their free, rich, wasteful life as a standard for the rest of the world to follow. Once everyone wants it and works for it there will be no saving our earth. We will all die in the trash heap we are making of it.
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