Why Consumerism is Killing Us

We live in a world where big shopping trips are considered self care. Where annual holidays are just routine and someone’s worth is based on the clothes they wear.

We live in a toxic, utilitarian society that feeds off of consumerism. Nothing new, right? The media fuells this incessant greed for commodities, it continually shows us that we ‘need’ to buy a new jacket or pair of expensive shoes. In reality, we don’t need all of these things that we are encouraged to purchase. I mean, I get it, advertising and products make good money, but all they do is enforce the capitalist ideals held by the big business men and further split the working class and the ‘better’ class.

Not only are we controlled by our ceaseless greed until all we truly care about is buying more and more unnecessary products, but it has a damaging effect on the environment.

Most clothes we donate to charity actually just end up heading for the landfill, which is devastating because the UK, according to the BBC, ditch more than a million tonnes of clothing every year. We buy more clothes than we can manage and then throw them away and buy more. We further pollute the planet with our waste, we literally trash eco systems and ruin habitats with our selfishness.

Our commercial world has led to revolting revelations of our impact on our planet’s future. Our future.

We are running out of time to put things right. I know a lot of people feel intimidated by becoming more eco friendly as they may believe it is a 360 degree turn in lifestyle- but it really isnt. Skip out on meat once or twice a week, if everyone did that then there would be a lesser demand for meat products and therefore a healthier world with perhaps happier animals. Try to avoid buying things you don’t need. The Stoics took pride in minimalism and consuming food for survival rather than enjoyment, and I think there are elements in the Stoic philosophy that are indeed admirable. If we all lived somewhat ascetically, then we could help our planet.

We’re so distracted from poverty and unjust war because we are constantly thinking about buying more and more. It makes my stomach turn how brainwashed people can be by consumption. All they want is to buy more completely useless things just for the sake of having it and to show off having it.

With the Industrial Revolution and mass manufacturing of products, commodities became more accessible and the economy flourished… until it didn’t (see 1920s wall street crash). But stock markets and business men aside, we have the opportunity to change our planet. We can stop it from looking like a bleak wasteland if we just pay attention to these little things. Things like not paying £50 for a jumper- or rather the brand. Things like wasting plastic and literally just small changes that actually make a very significant impact. Our own greed has lead us to living in such a war torn and politically heated world filled with poverty, inequality and injustice.

To be entirely honest, this world feels despotic, being autocratically manipulated by capitalism.

I feel like we should stop protesting the capitalism ideology and actually do something to change it.


The Impermanence of Life and Transcendental Experiences

I’m sat infront of an abundance of overdue school work, in deep entrenched thought and pure procrastination.

I can’t help but let myself continually be soaked in reflection. Do you ever just have a monumental experience where you kind of resolve or confront things that you never thought you would? Like talking about something deep and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and ultimately forming a lot of conclusions to stories you had to leave unfinished. After years of distance or getting close to people you never thought you would. Just creating memories that you take something away from, leaving you wiser.

This weekend has been something I will never forget, I have had closure and resolved unfinished conflict and combatted awkwardness and it was truly phenomenal. I’m not sure how much sense any of this makes- only that come Monday morning, I will have been able to move past a lot of uncertainty. Although I felt out of place, I soon came to feel sonder and strangely..alive. It was somewhat elevating. There was also feelings of enouement. I felt vulnerable and overwhelmed but also overjoyed- it was such a bonding experience, having so much fun with these people. It completely revealed a part of myself I did not think I had. It’s not like I left every insecurity parked outside but that’s okay, being expressive is so liberating. And we all celebrated how far we had come and that was the most important thing. It was truly unforgettable.

I think back to the past and look at memories and how I have spiritually grown since, how I have matured physically and mentally, and how I know better now. I think we take it for granted. Like those bad experiences that we feel a weird nostalgia for. It all seems so miniscule and insignificant now. I like to think that everything happens for a reason (call me a new age idiot if you want) and looking back on those experiences, they mean so much to me because they are apart of me and all adventures are meant to be messy.

I apologise if this article seems jumbled and out of context, just know that what they tell you about life being short is true and to celebrate it every chance you get.

I found myself, on Friday, in a deep melancholic trance. Absorbing sensory details and being grateful for being alive and present. Sharing this otherworldly adventure with so many people. I felt like I had a place in the universe. To put a silly article simply, this weekend was pulchritudinous. I am so grateful for so many people and so many experiences. If you are reading this and you have impacted my life- I am nothing but grateful.

Human Trafficking

It happens all the time, it does not discriminate in location.

Do you ever think about what happens to the thousands of children that go missing? A small percentage may be attributed to runaways and some even killers or solitary kidnappers, but for the most part, a huge majority is never found. I believe, along with many others I’m sure, that they have all been abducted and trafficked.

It happens everywhere, not just in very suspicious parts of Europe, but everywhere. Predators target women and children and coerce and groom them and then abuse them. I’ve learned to stop asking why people do such horrible things, but to question what can we do about it?

Obviously, I won’t be able to just stop all human trafficking. I’m just one person. When the news covers something about knife crime, we all start to become aware of it. We become more conscious about said phenomena. On the news the other day, they simply brushed over a human trafficking case that collapsed due to police failings. 13 men and 1 woman may walk free, without consequence for grooming, raping and trafficking three girls, including one aged 12 inbetween 2010 to 2014. This happens all the time, unfortunately. If you have seen ‘Three Girls’ on Netflix, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It brings to light this horrific case of human trafficking in Greater Manchester. When I was younger, I remember seeing the case on the news and in the papers. It broke my heart but I wouldn’t have understood what child grooming was if I didn’t see that. I also remember that I rarely went out alone and if I did and saw a car slow down or stop, it was instinct to sprint away. This wasn’t paranoia, this was a common thing in my area as men in black cars were trying to get children into their cars. Things like this still happen- on a horrific scale. We aren’t aware of it though. Why? Because the media focuses all their attention on their own agenda of celebrity gossip and selective broadcasting.

We should be aware that many of us are at risk. It’s terrifying that women can’t walk home at night because there is the risk of being raped or attacked. It’s sad that children can’t play in parks without supervision because of the risk of pedophiles. This is the world we live in. Why don’t we focus our resources and time and money on saving these vulnerable children that are being abused? Why are we not hearing about the exploitation of minors?

I’m not saying we can change it all, but bringing awareness to it is a start. Let people understand the signs, and let them know that they are not alone and there are people to help (albeit the police have often proved incompetent in such cases and a lot of victims wouldn’t even think about speaking out). Why aren’t we funding organisations money to help combat this? The least we can do and should have done anyways is have awareness of the signs and red flags, let the public know about incidents that have happened (Eg if someone reports that they were almost trafficked or if someone was abducted etc) and to, please, show the faces of the poor children who have gone missing. We can’t just forget about them. They need our help! They need someone to listen and realise what is going on, but how can we do that when we have no idea what to look for? And when a case about human slavery or child exploitation comes out, it should be all over the news! The lack of coverage is honestly apalling and makes me sick to my stomach.

To conclude, human trafficking is happening, even in the city I live in. There is a HUGE human trafficking ring in my area. It’s probably happening wherever you are too. We need to become more aware of this issue. All I can add to that is this advice:

Avoid walking outside when it is dark, and if unavoidable- please find someone you trust to walk with you.

• Remember to keep safe and have the emergency services/police number ready to dial

•Your instincts are right, if you feel that something is off, it most likely is

•If someone is trying to talk to you when you are sat in a car, do not open your door to talk to them

•When you are shopping or whatever, and get into your car, do not hesitate- just leave. People will see you are unsuspecting and may get into the seat next to you etc

•If someone is following you, go up to a group and ask them to pretend they know you because you are being followed

•Many shopping assistants will escort you to your car if you feel unsafe

•If a stranger is asking you a lot of questions, tell them fake information

Stay safe and stay informed. This is a global issue that we should all be talking about.

The Far Right and the Media: a silly rant

It is borderline infuriating when engaging in conversation with someone that identifies with strong right wing ideals. It is impossible to have stimulating political debate when the foundations of their beliefs stem from tabloids, which aim to mislead readers for the purpose of sensationalism and entertainment.

A bit of a disclaimer beforehand, I am not attacking conservative politics in the media because they are a different political slant to my own but because I strongly disagree with their policies, hatred for diversity and general spiteful rhetoric. That being said, I don’t want anybody to think I believe all tories are racist or hateful inherently but their politics do encourage prejudice and discrimination which are projected to people through the mass media. Nor am I trying to act as if I am more superior to anybody who isn’t an environmentalist or left wing, although if you neglect the environment all the time, you are automatically scum and natural selection will come for you.

Anyways, the reason I say this is because many right wing supporters tend to repeat the same points over and over with a very striking lack of depth. For instance, can anybody actually say what UKIP want besides all “immigrants out the country”? There always seems to be some sort of ‘slogan’, if you will, that most far right politicians use, which usually includes some personal favourites of demonising the working class and labelling them as out of control or ‘feral’, or even the whole ‘all muslims are terrorisits’ schtick. Though intellectually painful to listen to, it is almost comical how they hardly elaborate on their reasoning, and if they do it’s usually just a russian roulette on which social group they throw under the bus to blame for problems they created.

It is difficult to converse with people that are brainwashed by far right propaganda (I can already hear right wing supporters that may read this calling me leftist scum or an ‘entitled libtard’ or something). Most of the media is owned by the far right and so they often have complete control in the delivery of many topics. Ergo, they are the most accessible, so many people are influenced when the media uses pejoratives like “benefit scrounger”, “immigrants ” and “Muslim” and are inclined to hate certain social groups (primarily people of colour and working class individuals). Thus creating a sense of fear of many social minorities through this disgusting misrepresentation. They manipulate situations to create a divide.

If people seek political information through a biased rhetoric which demonises certain groups, they will also begin to dislike them too. All they are being exposed to is just negative labelling which they then carry out in their own prejudices in every day life. This is why many people, unfortunately, move away from people of colour, believing them to be criminal, barbaric or a terrorist.

The media distracts us from real news with fake news and celebrity gossip. Tell me why, in a world that is filled with human trafficking and child soldiers and poverty we are more concerned with which Kardashian had a nip slip? We are so focused on distracting ourselves with reality tv and quiz shows to realise that we could be helping them. Why must so many choose to not pay attention over someone else’s safety and wellbeing? Are we that incapable of responsibility? Right wing mediums of media do exactly that. Avoid responsibility. How can it be ‘our fault’ if “immigrants are stealing our jobs” or the working class are “feral rats”?

It makes people reading it have a sense of importance because they are above these groups of individuals which they are taught are unruly and uncivilised. It’s quite terrifying how hateful conservative people can be. Yet it is all we see in newspapers or online plastered all over social media. We all have that one middle aged woman on facebook called Karen or Sharon or something of that effect, and we don’t even know why we have them there on the first place but all they post is minion memes with a caption about being classy and pretty horrifically transphobic statuses. The purpose of my writing is not to dissect middle class white women culture, it is to discuss my personal infuriation for right wing propaganda fuelling hatred for minorities especially when I belong to minority groups and a lot of people fail to understand the frustration of trying to talk to someone so politically misinformed.

In conclusion, thank you if you have actually reached to this point, and I understand many of this is just jumbled nonsense but this is a blog and I am not a talented writer, I am just some kid with an opinion.