Lately I've been watching TV, which is to say paying more attention to the advertising. What strikes me, as 'civilized' countries are crawling out of a recession, is the amount of advertising that would encourage us to buy completely unnecessary crap.
Certain items stick out particularly: skin creams for women; creams that scream they'll make us younger when they plainly will not and cannot and will simply deprive us of money. Second is the cleaning product and scent market. WHY do we need these? Seriously. Why? They are costly items, they don't smell good and they put chemicals into the air and onto every surface we touch. And we wonder how we're getting cancer....
But over riding all of that is the utter blindness we have, certainly in Canada, the US and Britain to what constitutes real poverty. That $40 pot of cream - that 1 ounce jar - costs what amounts to 20 days' work for many, many people.
TWENTY DAYS' WORK.
Can you comprehend? That means many, many of us are spending 20 days' work on a pot of chemicals that will do nothing other than put poison into our bloodstream.
Those little pots of room freshener that cost $6? That is three days' work for some people. For what? So we can breathe in what cannot in any way be considered a safe to breathe product.
We are stupid. We consume anything in our path no matter the cost to ourselves, our planet and to the 95% of the rest of the human race that has nothing. That part of humanness that knows poverty - the kind that doesn't allow you to play bingo twice a week because you can get food at the foodbank. The kind that doesn't allow you to smoke a pack a day. The kind that means you watch your children die from lack of food rather than making them eat Kraft Dinner so you can go to the casino.
We're fat because we, like cattle, consume until there is no more - except in this country there is never going to be 'no more.'
I'm embarrassed by our abundance and horrified at how cavalierly we waste the immensity of our fortune.