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Buy Nothing Day

mmphosis
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Joined: Apr 28 2009

₠ ₡ ₢ ₣ ₤ ₥ ₦ ₧ ₨ ₩ ₪ ₫ € ₭ ₮ ₯ ₰ ₱ ₲ ₳ ₴ ₵ ₶ ₷ ₸ ₹ ₺ ₻ ₼ ₽ ₾ ₿ ⃀ ⃁ ⃂ ⃃ ⃄ ⃅ ⃆ ⃇ ⃈ ⃉ ⃊ ⃋ ⃌ ⃍ ⃎ ⃏ $ ¢


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mmphosis
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Joined: Apr 28 2009
lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

That has always annoyed me, as it is at the end of the month when many lower-income people aren't buying much anyway. Of course it derives from the US Black Friday, which is creeping north. 

I certainly won't go "shopping", but if I need some food item, I'll buy it. 

I don't give Christmas gifts anyway. I do make tasty food (I'm making a tourtière this weekend, and freezing it). All the ingredients have been bought and the filling is almost all prepared. 

We probably have old threads on this topic. It always raises quite a bit of controversy. Adbusters can be rather weird... 


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

I agree, lagatta. Supporting small independent shops is not in any way the same as buying from large chains. And in my opinion, large chains should be avoided as much as possible, not just as a gimick on Black Friday.


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

So, how did it go?

I certainly didn't go on a shopping spree. I had bought and prepared quite a few vegetable dishes, and I have duck meat that has to be made into a tourtière (then frozen, for Christmas/New Years' season holidays). 

Since it was the last mild, liveable day, I cycled down to Le Chaînon, a charity shop that supports help for women in crisis. Found a pair of Blondo booties that seemed to fit perfectly, and have a lamb-fur lining, for 12$

Also bought a half-bottle of wine (Argentine Fuzion). Think that was it. 

Edited to add: I very much wanted some mending wool, but the knitting shop where I buy it was out of black. It is extremely hard to find mending wool nowadays. 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

I got the date wrong. I didn't buy anything yesterday.

 


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

lagatta wrote:
That has always annoyed me, as it is at the end of the month when many lower-income people aren't buying much anyway.

Yes.

lagatta wrote:
Adbusters can be rather weird... 

And yes.


ryanw
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Joined: May 24 2012

went to the movies with free passes

unfortunately it turns out the passes were to a anime put out by a quasi religious cult called Happy Science

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_mystical_law/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Science

I wish I had vetted the movie beforehand and chosen to pay for something else


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

I'd love to read a progressive critique of Adbusters. Sure, they have made some telling points about consumer society (on high-gloss paper). But they seem oddly puritain for one thing. One can be against mindless consumption without being against pleasure. 

And do they even mention the class differences in consumption? Many working-class people with children have few choices beyond WalMarde and similar sellers of shoddy crap. Although my income is not only not veryvery high but rather precarious, like many people in the arts, it is much easier for me to seek out a few nice things, often second-hand, than it would be for parents of three. 

I was happy to hear local ecologist Dominique Boisvert speaking out against Black Friday during a CBC call-in show when one of the people calling was a woman who LOVED TO SHOP and was going to head down to NYC to indulge in the pleasures of Black Friday, so happy that the Cons had raised the exempt amount from tariff duties. (And in fairness, men probably spend even more on superfluous consumer goods; they are just more inclined to spend on car and electronics-related stuff). 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ lagatta

I don't buy the class consumption argument, actually.

Not that it doesn't exist, but I don;t think it is a valid reason to stop criticizing WalMart. If we were to extrapolate we would say that it isn't fair to criticize the military because it provides jobs for the poor, or to not promote veganism or vegetarianism because there are people in the world whose main diet is meat and they might feel left out.

I think shopping there is bad for everyone. If someone has to... well in the first place I realize that is their choice, and secondly I'm not going to consider theim a pariah on that one issue, and I'm not going to stop saying I think it is a bad idea, even if I recognize that they might consider it their best choice.

Besides, I'd say WalMart is being eclipsed by Giant Tiger among actual poor people. For one thing, the prices are better, and you don't need a car to get there.

 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Oh, I'm certainly not refraining from criticism of WalMart. I don't shop there, and don't think anyone else should either. I'm very much opposed to private cars in urban areas, though I know that even in such areas, many people don't have the choice. We still have to raise awareness of the harm, and discuss the need to convert automotive jobs into jobs producing public transport vehicles, and to promote town planning that encourages walkability, cyclability and better access to public transport. 

As for the military, that is 100% government subsidized, and "our tax dollars" could be used for far more socially-useful purposes while providing employment. 

I think Giant Tiger is much more regional than WalMarde. There are two Giant Tigers in Montréal, but they are in Ville St-Laurent and Montréal-Nord. I might not need a car to get to them, but I'd have to take the bus and métro to either. We have other cheap places like Rossy (there are two walkable from my house). 

I often see people on the bus with bags from WalMarde - they are due east of here in St-Léonard. But if one doesn't have a bus and métro monthly pass, that is at least $5 to get there and back (if one has a pass buying 10 tickets at a time, as I do). 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I think some people really need these campaigns where everyone troops off in a gang and does something special on a special day, and I have no problem with that if it raises awareness.

But personally, I agree with you; it doesn't really do it for me, and if I want to get myself a beer on buy nothing day I am going to get myself a beer. I think moderation in behaviour 365 days a year is the ultimate goal of these actions anyway.

 

 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Yes, that is true. I'll get myself a beer, cheese or bottle of wine if I want, and certainly pick up CAT LITTER. But the SAQ (Québec wine and spirits monopoly) had a 10% off if you bu $100 promotion this weekend, and I did NOT buy into that. They know very well that if you have a lot of bottles around the house you'll up your consumption - even if you don't want to drink more it will make you feel like inviting friends over, which also means food expenses - and that you won't really have it saved up for Christmastime. Just one example of those things. 

More importantly, I do need a new computer (alas, such planned obsolescence) and there are many bargains around this time of year, but how to sort out real ones from fake promotions? 

I looked at some hits for frugality and simplicity, but so many of them have a religious, new-age spiritual or other weird agenda. And of course there are "simplicity" publications really selling yet more stuff. It is actually not easy to get one's life sorted out, not buying useless crap but at the same time having the clothing and such you may need if you have to do "straight" work at least sometimes. 

One thing I really hate is the pressure to have a portable phone and be constantly available, upon pain of losing contracts... 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I haven't used a phone almost since I retired in 2002. We don't have digital cell phone service here, by the way. If I want to talk to anyone, my tiny village is small enough that I can almost walk over and say hello. I don't do long distance calls - everyone I know is hooked up to computers and email.

Once the bridge is finished and we're connected to the mainland of Quebec - next fall according to estimates - things will likely change, beginning with cell service. I'm hoping we get broadband, but Telus told me, no, they have no plans for our area.


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Boom Boom, I'm pressured to have a phone for work. If I were retired that would be a moot point. If I lived in a small remote village, obviously all my clients would be far away. Even in Montréal, many of them are - in Vancouver, or in Europe. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

lagatta wrote:

More importantly, I do need a new computer (alas, such planned obsolescence) and there are many bargains around this time of year, but how to sort out real ones from fake promotions?

That kind of stuff I ALWAYS buy second hand on kijiji.

Hell, the fact that most of the monitors in our house (and two of our computers) I found abandoned in back lanes says way too much about conspicuous consumption.

I agree with the arguments about buying small and local (it's a personal issue for me) but I think there are also ways of playing these larger retailers, like getting several households together to buy bulk - like 50 lb lots of potatoes.

And I know what you mean about the cult stuff. I have a friend who home schooled and was shocked at what she ran into when she actually started mixing with some of the people who did the same thing. The solution to that of course is to organize it the way YOU want to do it.

 


ryanw
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Joined: May 24 2012

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That kind of stuff I ALWAYS buy second hand on kijiji.

Hell, the fact that most of the monitors in our house (and two of our computers) I found abandoned in back lanes says way too much about conspicuous consumption.

twofold to this is that electronics 'recycling' donations ship them overseas to developing countries to sift through by hand for precious metals irregardless of the caustic decaying materials. so everyone should be reusing them for multiple reasons


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Qualms aside, it inspired the name of one of the most wonderfully joyous pop songs I've ever heard.


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

I need a laptop, not too heavy to carry around on my arthritic shoulders and with a decent monitor for my ageing eyes, and a receipt Revenue Québec and Revenue Canada will accept as a business expense. If that can be second-hand, tant mieux. 

As for home-schooling, I have lots of qualms about that, not only because of the right-wing fundie nuts that attracts, but also because it is retrograde in that it is relying mostly on the free labour of women, instead of something that has been socialized. Badly socialized to be sure, and often downright unsuitable, but is taking something public back into the home rather than criticising the negative impacts of the current educational system really a socially-progressive approach? 

Yes, I know sometimes there is no choice, but we have to keep in mind what that says about women's role, and our all-too-often unpaid work. 

Yes, I enjoyed that song. That would also have been fun at the Printemps rouge student demos. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

 @ ryanw

In some cases yes. Saskatchewan's program for appliances and electronics does not. The main reason why I haul everything I find in back lanes there is because every one of those monitors and TVs have 4 to 5 kilos of lead in them, and all kinds of other noxious stuff.

@ lagatta

Regarding business expenses, I just do it. If it is from kijiji I just print the ad, It's not like I am lying or trying to rip anyone off. I consider it legitimate until someone tells me otherwise.

And maybe it is because I went mostly to country schools, but I have from day one maintained that I would haul my kids out of school if they every hit some horrible wall of bullying or evil teacher which I could not get around. We have not hit that point -quite the opposite -  but while I agree with you that we need to compel the public system to do better, sometimes that only goes so far.

Case in point, one of our kids is actually under consideration for an advanced program, and a teacher friend we are talking to about it said "it all comes down to the teacher". I agree with him.

I think it applies to consuming too. I prefer to make, do myself, or barter rather than buy, in business as well as at home, despite the economic theory that paying others to do stuff is more efficient, even if you can do it just as well or better.

And I'd say even if we buy, we have to be engaged with what we use if we don't want to risk getting fed some sort of garbage that is profitable for the business selling, but not necessarily good for us. That applies to everything from school to computers to contracted services to apples.

 

 

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

A basic 15 inch screen laptop should be available for just over $300 - but online, yeah, maybe around $200 if you're lucky.

I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1525 that I brought online from Dell five or six years ago for about $500+ but with a spare battery and a cloth carrying case. Dell has them now for $399. with the latest chips and huge memory, but I think HP or others have the same basic laptop for no more than $300 or less.

I've decided to keep my 1525 at least until we get broadband (maybe two or three years from now - who knows?) and then I'll be looking for a new laptop but hopefully I'll find one made by a company with a better human rights record.

Question: what computer maker has the best human rights record?


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005
lagatta wrote:

As for home-schooling, I have lots of qualms about that, not only because of the right-wing fundie nuts that attracts, but also because it is retrograde in that it is relying mostly on the free labour of women, instead of something that has been socialized. Badly socialized to be sure, and often downright unsuitable, but is taking something public back into the home rather than criticising the negative impacts of the current educational system really a socially-progressive approach? 

Because women do most of the work of child-rearing, should we also socialize that task as well?

6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Sven wrote:

Because women do most of the work of child-rearing, should we also socialize that task as well?

Not sure where you're going with that, Sven.

Personally, no, I think  the solution is to step up and share the work a bit, but I also think it is important that an existing public institution like schools be held to account.

And since you bring it up, I think universal childcare for those who need it would be a great idea. But I don't think that is an argument that keeping kids at home is by definition wrong. Again, I'm not sure what your point is.

 


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sven wrote:

Because women do most of the work of child-rearing, should we also socialize that task as well?

Not sure where you're going with that, Sven.

Personally, no, I think  the solution is to step up and share the work a bit, but I also think it is important that an existing public institution like schools be held to account.

And since you bring it up, I think universal childcare for those who need it would be a great idea. But I don't think that is an argument that keeping kids at home is by definition wrong. Again, I'm not sure what your point is.

My point is that if socialization is the solution to a problem that women have a disproportionate burden of shouldering (home schooling), then why wouldn't socialization also be the solution for another problem that women have a disproportionate burden of shouldering (i.e., child-rearing)?


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Is that what lagatta said?

(and I'll leave that to her to answer)

But I thought the argument was rather specific to that case, and wasn't in any way a claim that the school was perfect.

Believe me my first option would be to try and get satisfaction within the school; after all, I AM paying for it, and it doesn't only concern the welfare of my kids.

In the strictest sense, I think public childcare SHOULD be there, not as the only option, and because of any assumption that it is better than care at home, but because it should be available for people who want it.

Besides, I don't think anyone is making an argument for universal public housecleaning, cooking, valet  and laundry services either, even though there's clearly an imbalance in that department too.

 

 


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

Boom Boom wrote:

I've decided to keep my 1525 at least until we get broadband (maybe two or three years from now - who knows?) and then I'll be looking for a new laptop but hopefully I'll find one made by a company with a better human rights record.

I get broadband via satellite for 50 bucks a month.  If you have access to electricity, you can get it, at least in the US.  I would imagine there's a similar service in Canada?


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Is that what lagatta said?

I was looking at her criticism of home-schooling because, among other things:

lagatta wrote:

...it is retrograde in that it is relying mostly on the free labour of women, instead of something that has been socialized. Badly socialized to be sure, and often downright unsuitable, but is taking something public back into the home rather than criticising the negative impacts of the current educational system really a socially-progressive approach? 

Presumably, in-home child-rearing is also "retrograde" because "it is [also] relying mostly on the free labour of women"...


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Sven, I was referring specifically to "taking something public" (in this case universal free education) back into the home. Was that hard to read?

No, I don't think children have to be reared in kibbutzes. Yes, by the way, I think everywhere should have public universal childcare (as is theoretically the case here in Québec, but underfunding has allowed the private sector in, which will wind up costing us a lot). But no, I don't think parents should be forced to use it. 

Socialisation of unpaid domestic labour is an old feminist demand, by the way. How it should be achieved remains to be discussed, and fought for. 

I most certainly do not think women remaining in the home all their lives and depending on the income of a male breadwinner should be the norm in this day and age. I'm old enough to remember when that model was pretty much imposed, and my first revolts as a very young teen were against that crap. 

What is pleasant nowadays is that I see parents a generation younger than I am who were themselves reared with far more egalitarian expectations, and who are raising their own children differently. Quite a few feminists of my cohort swore we would never have children because we didn't want to fall into the trap our mums and other older female relatives fell into. Nowadays I think that fear is far less, and many young feminists are happily contemplating having children. 

 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

Back to computers, can any of you tell me if this is up-to-date enough to be worth buying? I much prefer Macs, if I can afford one (far fewer problems using them - I am NOT a techy type)

Macbook 2009 black 13" 2GB RAM, 2.4 GHz, 250 GB disc

Mac OS X Lion version 10.7. Coming with a new charger, and one year old battery.

Note that this is not a "MacBook Pro", the latest one. I need to do word processing, use virtual dictionaries and take part in some audio-video conferencing. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Sounds not bad, so long as you aren't going to be building any huge databases. As for the audio video, I have been able to do that with computers with less than that, but a Mac geek might be of a different mind about it. I run linux.

 


Otavano
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Joined: Oct 7 2012

I've never understood the (don't) do X on day Y. It just means you'll pass it on to another day. What good does that do? For real effect, it has to be a lifestyle change for every day.


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