24/7 Consumerism Is Killing Us

Image Courtesy of Colorado Indymedia

Image Courtesy of Colorado Indymedia

While it’s certainly an interesting and laudable idea — trying to reclaim time and head space back from the hyper-capitalist/consumerist society — do we need to use a piece of religious dogma to do it? What’s the difference between doing what we can as a society to free ourselves from corporate mind control and creating laws that would prevent someone from picking up something as simple as a gallon of milk on a certain day?

Denise Civiletti writes at the Riverhead Local:

County Executive Steve Levy wants to force stores to shut down between noon and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and has proposed a law forcing them to close or face penalties of up to $1,500. (See story.)

I think he’s right.

There are no days off any more, and it’s making us sick as a society. I don’t mean physically ill (though there’s likely a connection there, too); I’m talking about every other kind of wellness: spiritual, emotional and — yes — even moral health and well-being.

Americans have no sabbath. No rest. No forced down-time.

We are a hyper, wired-in, materialistic, people who collectively work 24/7 nearly 365 days a year — all in the pursuit of “things,” which have become our gods.

Who benefits from this craziness? We don’t. We suffer. We don’t spend time with our families, of both the immediate and extended variety. We don’t spend time reading, writing, reflecting, taking walks or just resting. All the things that a SABBATH is all about.

When we had a sabbath — enforced by law — we did all of those things. The stores shut down and so did we. And it was good.

The seven-day shopping week turned us into full-time consumers.

It was inevitable that we would eventually be shopping on “holidays” and the spiritual, emotional and moral barriers to stores being open for business on holidays came tumbling down.

Read the full post at the Riverhead Local

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  • http://twitter.com/Vordreller Vordreller

    Although a good idea, you can’t enforce a law based on religion.

    Seperation of church and state guarantees religious law will never regular law.

    Unless ofcourse this precedent is the first move to remove this basic human right.

    • Synapse

      So don’t make it religiously based. People need a break once in a while, and sometimes workers need to be forced to take a vacation. It’s healthy. Ancient slaves would give anything for a break. We need the weekend and modern businesses are attempting to rob us of our humanity and reduce us back to slaves. A mandatory vacation day like Saturday for all but the most mandatory services makes sense.

  • http://twitter.com/Vordreller Vordreller

    Although a good idea, you can’t enforce a law based on religion.

    Seperation of church and state guarantees religious law will never regular law.

    Unless ofcourse this precedent is the first move to remove this basic human right.

  • NotOkWithIt

    I think you’re far too pre-occupied with your own ideas. I work all the time and I was happy to work on Thanksgiving. I got paid “time and a half” and I really needed it. Especially when I don’t care about the holiday at all anyway. If I want to have a feast with friends, I will just do it. I don’t see why everyone makes a big deal out of one day in the year. I’d be very pissed if I actually had to lose my right to work on a day when I happily make extra. It could even negatively effect my life depending on how broke I am at the time.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

      And when the Republicans make “time-and-a-half” optional (read: nonexistent), will you be as happy to work on the holidays?Heck, even when I was broke and in debt, I looked forward to my weekends. It didn’t even matter that it wasn’t the Saturday/Sunday combo most people shared, they were mine, I got them off and I enjoyed them with gusto. That you can’t is sad.

  • NotOkWithIt

    I think you’re far too pre-occupied with your own ideas. I work all the time and I was happy to work on Thanksgiving. I got paid “time and a half” and I really needed it. Especially when I don’t care about the holiday at all anyway. If I want to have a feast with friends, I will just do it. I don’t see why everyone makes a big deal out of one day in the year. I’d be very pissed if I actually had to lose my right to work on a day when I happily make extra. It could even negatively effect my life depending on how broke I am at the time.

  • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

    This is stupid. Convince people that consumerism is idiotic, don’t shut down businesses.There are no days off anymore?Take one. You don’t need Daddy to make you take one.

    Also, only in the united states could assholes think that “buying stuff” is “work”.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

      “Shopping is work that your boss doesn’t pay you for.” – The Feederz

      A statement with which I agree wholeheartedly.

    • http://www.diatribemedia.com Aaroncynic

      I think that all depends – plenty of workers, especially in the service/retail industry have a much harder time getting a day off than most people realize. Even more difficult would be for people working two part time jobs, trying to balance the two together.

  • http://www.smashedbottle.com/ sebastian

    This is stupid. Convince people that consumerism is idiotic, don’t shut down businesses.There are no days off anymore?Take one. You don’t need Daddy to make you take one.

    Also, only in the united states could assholes think that “buying stuff” is “work”.

  • Hadrian999

    the really funny thing about modern consumerism is we don’t even enjoy the stuff anymore,
    soon as we have the boat or the car or the massive home theater system we start thinking about the next big thing we have to get and never enjoy because we’re working 90 hours a week to pay the note on our McMansion stuffed with all the stuff we don’t have time to use.

  • Hadrian999

    the really funny thing about modern consumerism is we don’t even enjoy the stuff anymore,
    soon as we have the boat or the car or the massive home theater system we start thinking about the next big thing we have to get and never enjoy because we’re working 90 hours a week to pay the note on our McMansion stuffed with all the stuff we don’t have time to use.

  • http://2012prophecy.net DM I.M.Cango

    Government should not be the judge as to what behavior is right or wrong. That should be left up to the business owner.

    • Andrew

      Business owners should be the determiners of morality and healthiness and law? Fuck that.

  • http://2012prophecy.net DM I.M.Cango

    Government should not be the judge as to what behavior is right or wrong. That should be left up to the business owner.

  • Synapse

    So don’t make it religiously based. People need a break once in a while, and sometimes workers need to be forced to take a vacation. It’s healthy. Ancient slaves would give anything for a break. We need the weekend and modern businesses are attempting to rob us of our humanity and reduce us back to slaves. A mandatory vacation day like Saturday for all but the most mandatory services makes sense.

  • Andrew

    Business owners should be the determiners of morality and healthiness and law? Fuck that.

  • Jeremy

    haha that’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve read today. Good to see some people with absolutely no understand of economics still writing articles.

  • Jeremy

    haha that’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve read today. Good to see some people with absolutely no understand of economics still writing articles.

    • Andrew

      Economics is a soft science.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

    “Shopping is work that your boss doesn’t pay you for.” – The Feederz

    A statement with which I agree wholeheartedly.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

    And when the Republicans make “time-and-a-half” optional (read: nonexistent), will you be as happy to work on the holidays?

    Heck, even when I was broke and in debt, I looked forward to my weekends. It didn’t even matter to me that I didn’t share my days off with many people, they were mine and I enjoyed them with gusto.

  • Andrew

    Economics is a soft science.

  • http://www.diatribemedia.com Aaroncynic

    I think that all depends – plenty of workers, especially in the service/retail industry have a much harder time getting a day off than most people realize. Even more difficult would be for people working two part time jobs, trying to balance the two together.

  • Anonymous

    Does anybody honestly believe that in the advent of globalization, we should hold corporations liable for workers’ rights? HA! The prime objective of all corporations, companies is to MAXIMIZE PROFIT. The accounting firm they hired is going to develop all these cutting edged algorithms to minimize costs as much as possible. Thus, depleting employee pensions, wages, and other benefits. As a result, they will have no other option but to acquire extra shifts to keep up with the ever rising cost of living. We got into this mess because of the lack of unions and guilds. ORGANIZE! And turn off that advertising box known as a television! You don’t need a new phone every month/year!

  • StillAtMyMoms

    Does anybody honestly believe that in the advent of globalization, we should hold corporations liable for workers’ rights? HA! The prime objective of all corporations, companies is to MAXIMIZE PROFIT. The accounting firm they hired is going to develop all these cutting edged algorithms to minimize costs as much as possible. Thus, depleting employee pensions, wages, and other benefits. As a result, they will have no other option but to acquire extra shifts to keep up with the ever rising cost of living. We got into this mess because of the lack of unions and guilds. ORGANIZE! And turn off that advertising box known as a television! You don’t need a new phone every month/year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Dayhoff/807089011 Brian Dayhoff

    I find it amusing how strangely people look at me when I tell them I don’t need anything. I go shopping maybe once every couple of months aside from groceries. I have friends that have literally asked me if I was broke just because I went into a store with them and came out without buying anything. I usually tell them no, this is exactly why I am not broke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Dayhoff/807089011 Brian Dayhoff

    I find it amusing how strangely people look at me when I tell them I don’t need anything. I go shopping maybe once every couple of months aside from groceries. I have friends that have literally asked me if I was broke just because I went into a store with them and came out without buying anything. I usually tell them no, this is exactly why I am not broke.