January 12th's post, “Am I just a bottom feeder of conspicuous consumption?” was a response to a comment from the post, “Myth-stakes”, which sprung from a comment from “Americans are screaming the need for a bigger reuse market. Why is there no answer?” Phew!
These comment threads are filled with an assortment of opinions that sprouted a lively dialog. It seems something has been tapped; a nerve, a fresh perspective, an unwillingness, an “Aha!” or simple annoyance. Let’s ride this a bit more and see where it goes. Either way, it grew conversation and got people thinking.
Now the question seems to be, am I a blog snob? To some degree, everyone who blogs is, as they share their opinion, is subjective and isn't (obviously in many cases) being subjected to being true. Nonetheless, there is a divergence of opinion on blogging. As for the description “holier than thou”, I’ve been called much worse. Surviving middle school gave me some thick skin. Tossing my opinions and stories on the Internet made it even thicker.
Blog etiquette is as diverse as the blogging world. There are best selling authors and media professionals writing blogs along with people like me who feel like they’ve found a good cause and/or a creative outlet. That explains my typos, etc when I mistakenly click the "Publish Post" button which is powerfully placed - less than a half a centimeter - from the "Save Now" button.
As for the two-year life of The Thrifty Chicks, I recall removing a just few comments, most were spam, one profane, a few trying to peddle sex somewhere in Asia. Sad, no? Comments on this site are rarely taken personally. They test convictions and invite reflection. Thoughtful criticism intended to evoke dialog is certainly encouraged. I do ask for clarity of content in comments – two or three adjectives doesn’t exactly back a point.
I think America needs a stronger reuse market for many reasons. Instead of listing them again, I’ll reference two opinions that ran in The Christian Science Monitor; “Green shopping, don’t say ‘eww’ to thrift stores”, and "We count calories. Why not carbon?” The first ran on Dr. Suess’ birthday, hence the reference to The Lorax.
I also think many people are very uncomfortable about expanding an American reuse market mainly because it presents a new/old way of managing our lives.
Many of today's Americans have a knee-jerk reaction to thrift, thinking the stores are infested with body lice and fungicide is sprayed on tattered clothing. This is sad because it really wasn’t that long ago that Americans thought product reuse and repurposing a common sense way of life – the days were the focus was on economic solvency, not accruing more debt. A parable to this is the post “Six Baccarat tumblers” about my great grandmother.
The conventional retail market probably doesn’t like it because it would translate to a radical shift in American shopping. Eventually, retailers would find a manner to profit from this emerging market. Good grief! Look what they did to credit default swaps!
If manufacturers can profit off Chia Pets, surely they can profit off used items like cowboy boots. I recently read that we would be better served putting Chia seeds into our mouths rather smearing them on a pottery figurine. Apparently those little seeds are very nutritious. As for cowboy boots, ever put on a new pair? Ouch! It’s like having braces on your legs. Best to let someone else put in the pain of breaking them in. Two honest and old cowboys had a good laugh at me in a tack shop Alamosa, CO when I tried a new pair of new boots. I can still see them sitting back in their chairs laughing as I screamed a few explicatives on how those boots felt on my legs and teasing them that they must have maimed many a legs selling such braces without a medical license. When they finally caught a breath, they told me about an old hide out of Billy the Kidd that I happened to be camped near. I think they were pulling my leg. But, it’s more fun to believe the story so I shall.
So, am I a blog snob? Is my message “holier-than-thou”? After sitting on my soapbox and thinking for a spell, I must say, no. I don’t believe so. I think I’m a person who has found a cause worthy of advocating. I’m passionate about it but certainly don’t think that those who disagree are damned. I'd be foolish to think there are not people who taken exception to what I write or how I write it. As long as people keep dialoging and thinking about more reuse, I'm cool.
Seeing consumer waste makes me sad. Really sad. When I watch the natural world in motion, I am in awe it's eloquent system. I believe dead-end waste is one of man’s worst inventions and we keep finding new ways to invent it in different forms. This disturbs me as I think about our legacy on this planet and I am but a mere drop in the bucket of humanity. Reuse is certainly one way to slow down the waste stream.Before I became a mother, I worked fundraising at one our nations leading zoo’s; was an Assistant Director at a summer camp and took our girls on overnight hiking and canoe trips; and worked in The Office of Environmental Affairs for the City of Boulder. However, I also worked in the investment industry for a major investment company as a planning analyst on business relocations. I’ve experienced both sides.
We are not perfect beings. Even in our quests to do what we think is best for our families, communities, and our country we aren’t always right and even good ideas have down sides.
My style of writing might appear to be "hoity" to some. But consider that I'm having to sway opinions about reuse and I attempt it with a dash of humor and - as my family's matriarch says - a few good "someone's gotta say it's". But hey, I've also been labeled insightful, and pithy.
When you are advocating for the underdog, whether it's a just cause or not, many adjectives are thrown your way. Though I do find it amusing to be cited "hoity" when I'm the one digging through the gray bins of thrift and trolling the urban alley's for treasure. One thing I know I try to be is thought provoking. Sure, I mix in the "look what I found's" in to provide eye candy and lead people into thrift temptation.
One thing I know to be true, we are capable of change. There was a time when the great whaling captains of Nantucket scoffed at the idea that the world would turn it’s back whale oil and a rock that burns would crash their market.