Monday, December 16, 2013

Plastic dreams.

For all the discussion about the economy and about America's ever-widening income inequality, it might come down to something as simple as this.

Our ability to produce things outstrips our ability to buy them.  That dynamic creates a downward pressure on prices, which, in-turn, drives wages and employment down.

There's a photo essay in today's "New York Times," called "Welcome to Tchotchke Town." It's about a town and a market in China called Yiwu that is 4.3 million square meters in area. There are 62,000 booths, 400,000 products for sale and 215 nations that receive imports from the market. Check out the photo essay here.

It occurs to me that much of what we create are the verbal equivalent of the plastic flood shown above. We produce and produce and produce. We clutter and clutter and clutter. Our media landscape has become like the Collyer Brother's apartment.

We create, collect, curate and vomit in an endless exaflood of plasticine pablum. Not because we think it works, or know it works, or it serves a need. We do it because we can.

Producing ever more. And losing our worth in the process.

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