Thursday, August 24, 2006

Not Buying It. Any of It.

I just read an excellent review of Judith Levine's book Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping. I won't comment much on the review, because I don't want to end up reviewing the review. I had heard about this book on NPR which got the expected accolades. According to Cheryl Miller who wrote the review, the books premise falls apart within the first few pages in the extremely predictable way in which a wealthy New Yorker would 'Not Buy It'. Apparently, not buying it means something very different to those of us who don't have it in the first place:

Levine claims that she means to limit herself to the necessities of daily life. One scans through Levine's list of necessities with growing incredulity. High-speed DSL (hey, it's for work!), cable television, the occasional $55 haircut, 'organic French roast coffee beans,' skiing?!

Levine airily insists that necessities in New York are different from those of a 'farmer in Bangladesh.' But she seems to forget this relative wealth when she describes the aily life she leads with her partner, Paul. She paints a pitiful picture: This 'highly insecure' existence includes two residences (an apartment in Brooklyn and a house in Vermont), flexible work that allows the couple to take off and ski in the afternoon, three cars, a windsurfer, and a healthy diet of such Whole Foods staples as 'Thai sweet black rice' and 'Mexican huitlacoche fungus.'



I'm a little stunned that this book would be this bad, so I'm tempted to buy the book so I can find out for myself. From reading a little about the book in general from other sources, I understand that it's a big anti-Republican screed which is fine. But as most Democratic screeds about Republicans, it's anti-Republican for what I suspect to be all the wrong reasons.

But no matter, it's not her politics I care about, it's the hypocrisy that I'm watering at the mouth to get at.

Miller ends her review with an utterly fantastic closer:

Levine’s no-shopping pledge has all the anti-capitalist bona fides of Adbusters’ “non-brand” brand, Blackspot, or, better yet, one of Citibank’s “Live Richly” ads. Spiky haircut? $55. Organic coffee beans? $7 a pound. Excoriating everyone else for overconsumption? Priceless.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, so what's this got to do with JonBenet Ramsey? Man, what sort of crappy blog is this?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you...I was surfing the web for JonBenet info and all the buzz was about this site, and there's nothing here. What a load.

Anonymous said...

Did JonBenet own a Jeep? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Nah, it's just this guy yanking our chain. Anyone who really followed child beauty pageants know she dreamed of owning a Cadillac.

Paul said...

I'm thinking of starting a sister blog called "JonBenetRamsey.blogspot.com" since 99% of my hits are based on those search terms.

Anonymous said...

Not to thread-jack, but what's up with this country? Wars, inflation, the housing market just collapsed, WE NEED CHANGENOw!!!!

Paul said...

All JonBenet and Jeeps all the time!!! Can I get a whoop whoop?!

Anonymous said...

ALL O FYOU JSUT NEVER UNDERSTOOD JONBENET LIKE I DID!!!! IWAS HER #1FAN AND YO ALL IS JUST POSERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Eric is a fag!!!

Paul said...

Sissy anonymous posters! Use a real fake name!

paul said...

OK, how about this one, you JonBenet poser!?!?!