Las Aventuras en el Abismo Estrecho

Adventures on the Narrow Straights:
an analysis of the stretched abyss


Global Issues response thoughts

Fashion and Nostalgia

Makes me want to return to the values of my grandparents, and appreciate that which I have inherited from this generation. The pearl earrings that will last a lifetime, the leather shoes that one takes care of. Instead of giving in to the material nostalgia of always being in the here and now. It's definitely a paradox as Appadurai says. We look towards this unknown future and have nothing really to hold on to. We feel we are drowning into the past if we don't keep up, and security is no longer in what you really have that will last that long. It's more about what you have that brings you in the trend of this second. I'm having great difficulties describing the circles that go around in my head about this.
I just moved here from a world where I still had much to do with the previous inherited notion of value through patina. What you have, is what you have and it's pre-established. And I'm overwhelmed by costs as I move to New York. I have to have so many new things, I must get in debt to keep up. That's what Appadurai means with the "revolution of consumption" fueling a different view, that there is a "deformation of the experience of time by the structures that currently organize consumer debt." Instead of having nostalgia for what you already have, you now have nostalgia for what you should have, and thus, should buy.
How do we reject this notion? I do not want to give in to the fads, or to the way consumerism is working in the United States, namely New York, to such an exaggerated extent. Buy and give away as you buy something new that's important. It's WORK, as he mentions, and it stresses you out! Thinking in your head what you can buy, what you think you NEED to buy, and then working your ass off to pay back what you decided a little while ago. The easily available consumption is also what proves this. You don't save up to buy something, there is no time. You buy and then pay back. It's like the budget I have now, that I know what I have, I'm not saving up for it, and I just consume hoping that ends will meet when I figure it out in the future. I just know what I "need" to buy now and then decide later to see how I'll pay for it, even if it means working more.
It does give more opportunities though. Since more people have access to debt than to savings, it's manipulating the access to the masses of money. You can always get a chance to consume, except if you "waste away your chips" as Appadurai mentions, and then end up on the street watching others gamble their life and how to make ends meet.
Then in conclusion Appadurai mentions the "aesthetics of ephemerality" - I want something tangible! But it's no longer about having the commodities which will please the need to possess, since I will most likely buy it with a credit card whose debt I will have to repay. It's about finding a way to consume substantially, back to to the "patina" principles of something you can wear (and keep for longer times) and wear out, rather than feeling that you're only on top of things if you buy more to wear. Having more is actually more imagined, more ephemeral.

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