Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Watch this Movie

Some of you have porobably already seen this, but I was recently reminded of how great this short movie is: http://storyofstuff.com/
This is something I think about a lot: where stuff comes from. I think this video does a really great job of showing the whole system of production and consumption, especially how we are tricked into buying new things all the time. Annie Leonard divides the "story of stuff" into a few categories: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. In class we did a small activity to see what specific examples we could add to each different stage of the story. Not surprisingly, we had a much harder time finding personal examples to extraction, production, and distribution. However, consumption was not hard for us to talk about at all. It's obvious where we are most involved along this process, and it's exactly where the producers want us to be. The reason it is hard to think about everything that happens before we see the products is because advertising and the media works so that we only see what we want to see and we can ignore everything that went into making our favorite stuff. Thank you. I would like to think that if the extraction and production processes were more visible to us that people would make different consumer choices, but I don't think that would actually happen. Most people only want to see their favorite things in the stores and they don't care how they got there.