In U.S. history, the 1950’s and 1960’s was the Golden Age of consumerism. Today, most of us are all dopamine addicts and we don’t even realize it. Anything that triggers endorphins to be released is at everyone’s disposal. Access is a cell phone app away. There is a distinct difference between needs and desires. In this episode, we start the topic of consumption and being consumed by what you are consuming. We are a nonprofit podcast. Please reach out to donate. Thank you for listening.
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Hold your thunder. Oh, your thunder.
I got thunder. Yeah. You’ve been thunderstruck. Going ACDC again. I just know what I’m doing when I leave here. I’m going to get a Costco membership. You guys live at Costco. We go once a week. I went today because we ran out of paper towels. I won’t need to buy meat for at least another month and a half or two months.
I don’t buy paper towels for Yeah. Speaking of consumerism, like Costco does do bulk Costco and Sam’s Club. Either one. You can get bulk items to where at a reasonable price considering today’s prices, Sam’s Club, Sam Walton, Walmart. Like he said, he doesn’t need to go buy paper towels for like two or three months.
And that’s the other thing about consumerism. Paper towels. What did they replace? Handhelds. Your regular Your napkins or your handkerchief and hand towels your pants. Yeah Hey, a lot of people dry their hands on their pants. Sometimes when my hair hands are wet. I use my hair. What hair? Are you gonna go like Wilbur your beard?
You know, did you know do you know what they used to do to make the horses mouth talk A carrot in front of him. Dangle a carrot. No. Up his rear. Yeah. Oh my God. That’s what they used to do to make his mouth move. I heard that a long time ago. That’s why he’s like, hey Wilbur. Yeah. Oh God. Not in the ass again, Wilbur.
The Collective Perspective is set out on a mission to understand some of the most impactful and controversial trends and topics in our lives today. Hi, I’m Jeff. Hi, I’m Travis. Hi, I’m Juwan. Can we find common ground in the middle, in a peaceful manner, but with real community benefit, we believe as veterans and concerned citizens, we are striving to bring together diverse views.
With fact based research to navigate this tough terrain in a search of a viable path forward. How do we unify as Americans and prove we aren’t all that much different? So meet us in the middle, not the left or the right. In season two we have decided to focus on researching and exposing fake news and fake information.
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Hey everybody, welcome back to the Collective Perspective. This is Jeff. And this is Travis. And this is Juat. Today we’re talking about consumerism. I like to call it consume or be consumed. Consumerism is very much part of today’s society from revolving shops, supermarkets everywhere, new experiences, and more and more stuff.
And easier access to get it online. Boutique shops, any kind of shop you can think of that sells a consumable product. The question is, is whether you really need it or not. And we’ll talk about that here soon, too. As humans, we are considered narcissistic to many ways as we build personal castles of consumption on a fountain of things we don’t really need.
What does consumerism mean? Well, the definition of consumerism is an economic theory that argues that the interest of the consumer should be the most important factor in a business transaction. In other words, it is an ideology that places value on excessive consumption of material goods and services.
Let’s talk about the word consume. Things that we need to consume. Things that we need to consume are water, food, medicine, perishables. Those are all things that we need to survive and that’s really what shelter is about. Yes, shelter, clothing type of things. Throughout history, there’s been books written.
One of them is by William Leach, The Land of Desire. In his book, Land of Desire, Mr. Leach said that the cardinal features of this culture were acquisition and consumption as the mean of achieving happiness. The cult of the new, the democratization of desire and money value as a predominant measure of all value in society.
So what it comes down to is desire. Buying things that are only there for display, or to show off, if you will. I mean, how many times you hear they make fun of it at the urban communities where, Tom just got a boat, so then Larry across the street had to go get a boat. Or here’s a good example. There’s two people in Travis’s neighborhood that have Christmas lights, like high end commercial Christmas lights.
They are the same company, the same product, but I can guarantee you. And I think Travis was saying that one of them went out and bought it and the other one went out and bought it. And then it just kind of happens that way. And they’re commercially installed and everything like installers come and put it together.
Yeah. I don’t know if I want to put that on the show in case they’re listening. Oh. Well, they use that as well. We didn’t say anything bad about them though. It’s just consumerism. Well, yeah. Okay. It’s the desire to keep up with the Joneses. Keep up with the Joneses. It doesn’t make them bad people with the Jones.
No, not at all. Everyone in my neighborhood, they’re pretty down to earth really when you’re talking to them. And I could see the desire to have the latest and greatest thing. And you’re right though. It’s a desire. Well, let’s add this too. It looks good. Oh, it looks great. And I’m pretty sure it’s easy to change whatever color you want, and They have them on for each of the holidays throughout the year to match the Permanently installed lights.
Yeah, they’re permanently installed. You can’t see them during the day, so they’re legal for the HOAs. You know, at nighttime, say, 4th of July, they have the red, white, and blue up. For Halloween, they have the orange and purple. Or just like Halloween colors for Thanksgiving, they’ll do a Thanksgiving fall colors St.
Patty’s Day. You’re talking about all the great consumer dates of the world, right? These are all tradition, tradition dates, if you will. I see the point of. them doing it because now they don’t have to climb up and do it. They’re saving time in the future. So there, there is a benefit for it. If that’s something that you and your family value to getting back to your point, it’s not a need, it’s a desire.
Like keeping up with the Joneses. A good, a good example of that is I used to work in a HH Gregg. They put TVs in boxes that have all of this artwork on it. Goal for that is when the person discards of the box, they put it on the front lawn. It shows everyone in the neighborhood. I’ve got a bigger TV now, and let’s keep up with the Joneses, it inspires other people to buy a bigger TV as well.
It’s almost like indirect promotion. There’s a different way to look at that is, manufacturers will put brown boxes or painted boxes. Painted boxes are meant to be displayed out in the store. Brown boxes aren’t. Yeah, but another thing. And so they have to have painted boxes, therefore it’s a painted box.
They take the TV out. On the floor. So the box is not needed. You actually look at a physical TV. No, I’m talking about overstock boxes. Oh yeah. Well, yeah, you do that, but I wasn’t negating what you were saying. It’s a dual purpose for the trash thing. They, this is another way to look at it, but from what I understand, the painted boxes are to be displayed and make a big display full of speakers or something like that, and then put like 10 speakers in a stack, it’s not 10 boxes of.
Brown speakers. It’s painted boxes. Yeah, you’re right. And usually a painted box will come in a brown box when it’s shipped. Hmm. To protect it from fading and whatever. Yeah. That’s marketing. All right. So how do we go beyond our simple needs as humans? How do we go beyond our simple How do we go beyond our simple needs as humans?
Or do we go beyond our simple needs as humans? Well It’s in red there. How did you have that? How did you want to say that? We go beyond our simple needs as humans, I believe, is a statement. Uh, I think that’s what we do. Okay. This whole topic of needs and stuff, especially during the Christmas season that we’re recording this, it’s really made me think about what presents I buy for people.
Whether my family needs this thing, or do they want this thing. I focus more on what they need. Because what they want will just sit there, or a lot of times you buy kids stuff and it’s what they wanted. And then they never use it. They play with it once and then never use it again. And that time happens time and time again, luck.
Sometimes you get lucky and the kid sticks onto a toy. Like both of my kids have stuffed animals that they go to sleep with. It’s their, it’s their thing. It’s their possession, but there’s plenty of other toys that are sitting there that have never been touched. And it’s a constant recycling and a waste of money to capture the Christmas spirit.
It’s not about what they need. It’s about the sensationalism of, of the season. It’s about the excitement and that they’re opening something special. If I bought my wife what she needed and I would, I would be in a doghouse because I would buy her a vacuum cleaner and a couple other things that we need in the house and tell her Merry Christmas.
Something like an appliance is not a gift you give to your wife. And let’s look like a coffee machine or something like that. Or it’s something they’re openly saying that they want. Most of the gifts we buy. My wife needed a pair of headphones for work, for example. She got a pair of headphones for work.
My son wants to be an influencer and do coding, so I bought him a new iPad, which all the way is a tax write off. I agree with Jawad on this one. Are you teaming up against me? Okay. Short answer, yes. No, I, you know, we do have a desire for the new and I do like, I don’t know if it was the same for you, but when I grew up, you know, my mom didn’t have a lot of money.
Needs were the gifts for Christmas. New socks, new shorts, new belt or new whatever. Those were a lot of the Christmas gifts, but there were a few desires thrown in there as well to really hit it home. And for me, the gift giving is not necessarily about. Making sure your needs are met. It’s more about feeling good and having that new thing, the desired or the, the wants, not the needs at that point.
Even though the whole idea that the holiday is made up just to get you to buy stuff. It is throughout the year though. And we’re trying to teach our kids this, that if there’s something you need, tell me, we will get it. It’s a need. Let’s not wait till a birthday or a special big event for the needs. I, I, so needs we will address as they come up.
I agree with him. Okay, well here’s gonna, sorry. You know, Christmas was the opportunity for my mother to buy us new clothes, new shoes. It was the opportunity, okay, you need shoe time, so it’s Christmas, what kind of shoes you want. And those were actually the shoes I had to wear. And depend on wearing every day, but it was Christmas was the opportunity for, for the need.
I know you guys were teaming up on me, but I kind of want to dissolve it. Okay. And here’s how I’m going to dissolve it. I said that research in this topic made me think of just buying things that they need. Not that they should only get what they need for Christmas. That’s, that’s true. You did say that.
You guys are basically implying that I I am only for buying what things they need because ultimately I did not just buy things he needed. I bought toys for my, you said that they don’t have things that they don’t use. It, it made me think of buying only things that they need because, and one of the reason was because they buy, you know.
Wow, do you see how quick it can turn into something that it’s not? I was like, I hear what you guys are saying, but that’s not what I said. Sidebar, I’m not teaming up on that. We’re not, we’re not really. Emotionally upset, I think it’s more funny than anything else. It’s like, wait a minute. Well, you guys went, you guys took that a different direction.
Again, these are kind of, these are great ways to highlight how, how conversations in real life happen. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And just me telling you without any type of like, Hey, uh, I’m mad that you, I was sitting there kind of like eager to tell you guys like, Hey, hold on, but I didn’t want to cut you off.
Oh, that’s what my eagerness was about. It really comes down to desire then, right? What you desire more than what you need to consume. We all know what the basic necessities of things are. I think that direct human response is primarily through desire. We respond through what we desire. A fantasy or your dream car or your, the jacket that costs so much, but you can’t afford, but you want it.
It’s the desire to have this and you can’t get it. It’s out of your reach. What was life like before shops? Historically, the U S started out with like maybe a couple shops here in around town and mercantile and stuff like that through the 1960s, it actually grew to like over 4, 000 malls and stuff like that, the ability to be able to get.
Other things that you desire that you didn’t even know existed. So if you didn’t know these things existed, you wouldn’t need them. Therefore you wouldn’t buy them. But the mere fact they exist is all down to our buddy that we talked about before. His name is Edward Bernays. You remember old Edward Bernays?
Brother Edward Bernays. Mass production can only be profitable if it’s maintained with rhythm, meaning that if my customers aren’t constantly buying from me, this mass production isn’t going to work in my company. It’s going to fail. Let me try to cut corners and move overseas. I see the point in that too, with buying in bulk to make a certain amount, lowers the cost for the entrepreneur or the business.
And then they can turn around and sell it at a profit when they put it all together the right way. Well, they have to be able to sell the product in advance to be able to, you know, there’s some companies that are billed to order, which I don’t mind waiting for that. That’s smart business right there. I think you get a better product if you do something like that, because your quality assurance, your QA, if you will, is going to be, should be tighter.
It’s not always, I mean, some things slip through the cracks when you mass produce. Before it’s bought, you’re probably going to throw away. Is there like a rule for mass production? Say we build a thousand of these, 10 percent of them are going to be crap. Or like, is there a certain percent? They do a thing called the golden egg.
So when they manufacture something typically, and this is only if they have quality control, quality control would be. It has to go through step of vigorous tests, uh, stressing, let’s say for a speaker for it to become the golden egg, it would have to pass all these tests and then it would become the golden egg.
So, okay, well, if everything is made and this is operating great, then we’ll mass produce based off of this specific version, legacy version, if you will, just to go back into history a little bit to the first person to revolutionize the format of mass production was Henry Ford. Edward Bernays came up with the concept of having companies come out with new models of product every year, such as cars.
Henry Ford rebutted to him saying, no, I’m not going to do that. That’s too many, too high of a percentage for error. Hence all the recalls cars have all the time. They come up constantly coming out with new models, where if they just maintained a model for a couple of years, but all it is is just to get you to buy the new, the new, the new, the new, Hey, the newest and greatest thing.
And cars aren’t the only things that do it. The iPhone that I have, the iPhone that we all have, all the Apple products that we have are just like that. And so we’re kind of stuck. No matter how many bells and whistles you put on it, still the basic function is calling someone. I agree if you jump up from like an 11 model of something to 15 or 16, there should be a remarkable difference.
But still the basic function is calling someone, texting someone, and looking at emails that still the same Technological format is the same. It’s just the bells and whistles are improved. The speed and the connectivity is what they’re really improving on more now than anything. The interface is the interface until we come up with a, something that is different, new, some like no one’s ever seen.
They worked on that flexible glass for a little bit, but. Where are you going to put all the components in it? There was a, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of different things they can do with it. So we’ll see how that pans out. I’d like to see them get better with holographic technology to have a desktop that you can interact with and, you know, without having a big lunky computer, you just have a little.
Star Wars esque kind of projector that pops up your display. Sounds like fantasy. Sure does. They’re trying to create fantasy new lives for the future. Americans must be trained to desire. And if you don’t think we haven’t been trained to get the desires that you just mentioned or we all have, you’re kidding yourself.
We’ve been trained. To desire new things. Consumer culture is a culture where social status, values and activities are centered on the purchase and consumption of goods and services. That’s why we have Louis Vuitton that costs $5,000 for. Have you ever bought a Louis Vuitton small bag? Not personally. I know someone very close to me whom I love very much did.
It’s just a significant other, yes, ? Yeah. I bought my wife a purse and the wallet. And the ensemble was close to 3, 000. Exactly. And that’s, as it says, it gives a certain type of, again, status in society. When you’re walking with a Louis Vuitton bag. You see somebody walking with a Rolex on their wrist, you’re like, oh, that’s a nice watch.
That guy is somebody important. Yeah. If you were a social scientist, this pertains to exactly what you’re talking about. Social scientists such as Arthur Berger, Aaron Wildaski, Mary Douglas have suggested that there are four political and consumer cultures possible in a democratic society. And those four cultures would be, what, hierarchical?
The elitist? What you guys were just pertaining to especially is someone that believes that a system or society should be ruled, dominated, or otherwise controlled by a group of individuals determined To be of a higher standing than others. And the individualist, what’s that about? Individualists promote realizing one’s goals and desires, valuing independence and self reliance, and advocating the interest of the individual should gain precedence over the state of a social group, while exposing external interference upon One’s own interests by society or institutions such as the government.
So would the individualist be someone who’s not really going for the Louie or the Rolex or the, the high cost brand name, but sounds like Travis is something that, uh, Yeah, right. A libertarian. Maybe someone who’s, yeah, individual, wanting to stand out from the crowd and have something that no one else has.
Yeah, that person intentionally goes against the grain. Then there’s the fatalist. Fatalist is someone who feels that no matter what he or she does, the outcome won’t be the same because it’s predetermined. Fatalists share a sense of being powerless to change the world. In philosophy, a fatalist is someone who holds specific beliefs about life.
Destiny and the future. Egalitarianism is a philosophy based on equality, namely that all people are equal and deserve equal treatment in all things. As an idea, it can be looked at in terms of its implications for individuals in both an economic So, what is the opposite of being a consumer? I had a roommate one time, when I first started dating my wife, and As a single guy, you’re not much of a consumer.
You don’t consume as many things as you would like a family or if you’re a couple. Or, you eat out a lot. So you don’t really, you’re not really showing any time of consumption. You’re more of a single serve, as they would say in Fight Club. You’re not purchasing something from a supermarket and taking it home and cooking it yourself and consuming it that way, but more of like the amount of trash you create as a consumer.
Because of all the things that you buy, you will notice that from a single person where you might have to empty the trash bag once a week, or twice, it comes out to, as a family, every day, sometimes twice a day, you, all of this stuff you consumed and you threw away, and, and it’s come down to the point of even, I don’t know if you guys know this, but in Chile, in the desert in Chile, they have a pile of clothes, of clothes, That have gone beyond, and you can see it from a satellite, it’s gone from being donated to Salvation Army down to it’s being disposed of.
Almost like there’s a big collection of plastic that’s collected in the ocean. And this is what’s considered over consumption, built off a desire. So the stronger your desire, the more you consume. And whether people want to argue the fact or not, or scientists, I’m not a scientist. But in my viewpoint is, is that those desires are destroying the earth, that these things such as, I don’t, maybe, maybe the clothes, the pile of clothes that you could see from satellite isn’t ruining the earth, you know, it’s not rotting things, it’s not the dumps that Talking about that, I did notice that I think a lot of our consumption has to do more so with time savings, if you will.
I feel like we buy a lot of things that are disposable because it’s easier to just use it and get rid of it than it is to maintain it or take care of it. I think a prime example of that would be, would be paper plates and paper towels. We go through a crap load of paper plates in our house and that gets to your point where we’re taking the garbage out.
Once a day, twice, not, not quite twice a day, but at least once a day, whereas if we were using our regular plates that we reserve for guests and company, we would definitely cut down on our waste. I think that’s something that we could get back to and break the cycle. This is again, a microwave society.
People don’t want to wash dishes. They don’t want to. They’re light, they’re light bill, their water bill to be higher. Um, the, the paper plates, the cups, it eliminates washing clothes. It eliminates things that you would have to obligate yourself to. It’s much easier to discard of the paper plate and the cup and the trash and take the trash out than this whole commitment to run a dishwasher or the.
to manually wash plates and cups and forks or manually do these things. So even with the electric car going to the gas station, why don’t I just plug this electric thing? Everything is about streamline, but yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what we want. We want our lives to be easy and simple. And that is the sweet spot of consumer of luring a consumer into a product.
Let’s take that a little bit further the psychology of consumerism if you know where I’m headed in reality if you think about it We’re all addicts and we’re all addicts of dopamine the feel good drug Dopamine is something that your body naturally releases your pain and your pleasure sensors are located in that same Area of dopamine.
Here’s a prime example that tell me if this happened to you in the last week I see something, I think of something I wanna buy. I go on to Amazon and I place the order. Guess what? That is an instant release of dopamine. I had heard about this phenomenon probably around the time my kids were born, early two thousands, say around 2003 to 2005 ish.
Back then it was called retail therapy. You get a rush from buying something, spending a lot of money on it. It’s like, oh, there is a release of endorphins and dopamine. That, that give you a feeling that you’re not familiar with. But you like it, so you continue that, that’s that retail therapy. I just got a new car!
That feeling of ordering something without having to get in your car, without having to go out in society and around people, because a lot of people are introverts, and they don’t like to be around other people. So that Amazon concept, the carvana. Well, it comes all back to time, like you were saying. It’s just, you know, they have used paper plates and it’s like Carvana.
You go online, you approve for car. They actually deliver the car to you. And it’s like, okay, I didn’t have to go to them. Scandalous. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. But sometimes they don’t have to go through the process. They don’t have to go outside of their home. They, they can literally order a car in the comfort of their home while they’re laying in the bed.
They can order Christmas completely your entire Christmas shopping list. Which are pajamas in bed, watching Netflix, you don’t have to go anywhere and everything is delivered to you in less than three days. That is what, that’s what ignites the dopamine. That’s what’s like, Oh my God, this is great.
Consumerism comes excessive when it extends beyond what is needed. If you’re buying something out of desire, you’re already extending beyond you’re, you’re being excessive. When we become consuming more than is, than is needed, boundaries are removed. Personal credit allows us to make purchases beyond our income level.
Advertisements subtly reshape our desires around material possessions. And that’s all in exactly what we’re just talking about, dopamine and how, uh, how it affects people. Are the advertisings or advertisers, the training for desire. That we talked about just a little bit ago? Yes. Subtly they’re really trying to say, uh, yeah, subconsciously or subliminally, these advertisements are getting you to do that.
Here’s an interesting thing. Uh, I don’t know if we didn’t mention this, but I mentioned this to Travis earlier today, the term propaganda, by the way, when they found out the term propaganda was this kind of like demeaning type of thing and what Edward Bernays was doing with propaganda. So he changed the term, he changed it to the term public relations.
Public relations actually means propaganda. It kind of just reminded me because we were talking about advertisements. And uh, advertisements are exactly that. And as we discussed in previous episode of propaganda, entirely, propaganda is legal. Good nor bad. Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad. It’s all about the intent, right?
There it is. That word, intent. Yeah, we highlight that word. Just like context. Consumerism has come down to, and this is kind of a laissez faire type of feel, the judge is the public, the psychology of culture, consumer culture, and that’s basically the study of how cultures reflect and shape their members psychologically, psychological processes.
And it’s based on the premise that the mind and culture are inseparable, are mutually constitutive. The concept involves two propositions. A, people are shaped by their culture, and B, culture is shaped by its people. I’d like to thank Wikipedia for that definition. People are shaped by their culture and culture is shaped by its people.
It sounds like a circular definition, but I can kind of see the separation, I guess. The people are shaped by their culture, so Culture being your history, where you come from. And then the culture being shaped by its people, it changes over time as people have different interpretations of it. So culture can change.
And to go back to dopamine, the culture has gone to a dopamine based culture. You know one interesting thing about dopamine is that, do you know the highest level of dopamine that one person can get from a substance? I’m not sure what the highest amount you can get from a substance is, but I know that the receptors can be saturated where they won’t accept anymore.
So there’s only a, there’s a, there is a sealing effect, if you will. The highest level of dopamine you can, you can get from something is heroin. And what I mean by that is, is like, once you go to the beyond of heroin, and that’s the ultimate dopamine experience, there is no going back to lower levels of dopamine inputs, if that makes sense.
So it’s kind of like you’ve stretched out. Your ability to have, you’ve gone to the extreme level of dopamine that your body can absorb at one point through chemicals. And now, when you’re trying to, body is trained, Pavlov’s law, the dogs with the steaks. You can train dogs, Pavlov did a study where he trained dogs that every time he showed them a steak, they would salivate.
And he would ring a bell. Then he instituted ringing a bell at the same time he showed the steaks. Bing! They would salivate. Then over time, he took out the stake and they would ring the bell and the dogs would still salivate. The dogs were trained to have the bell as the signal point of to associate the bell with the stake associate.
The bell, similar story was in the movie, A Clockwork Orange. Every time. Every time he saw the visual. I love that movie. They would make him sick. Yep. The hyper, what was it? Hyper, hyper violence, hyper violence. They would make him sick or make him nauseous every time he saw the visual. Wow. God. Oh my God.
What a movie. Dark. One of my favorite movies growing up. Just keeps unraveling every time you watch it. It’s something else different. Yeah. Social justice reform. And, and, and watching that backfire. Anytime he saw someone getting raped, it was, it was over. You know, like singing in the rain, you know, singing in the rain.
Our older listeners might get that one. Well, it’s a scene in the movie that’s pretty wild. Yeah, that’s what I mean. A similar situation as the doll. Associating the pain with those visuals. Yeah, well, what’s crazy too is that not knowing that pain, pain and pleasure come from the same receptors. Very IP opening about taking dopamine to the extreme.
A lot of culture, another ingrained in our culture is Hollywood. And there’s a term called hero’s consumption. And Hollywood’s influence, I think we all know, uh, Hollywood’s influence on, on culture, on consumerism. Oh, absolutely. I don’t think we even need to read or I think we all kind of just know all about that.
I think we touched on Shaq and Icy Hot and a couple of others endorsements or testimonials from famous people on products to influence consumers buying habits. And you have millionaires that make a bunch of money to just get a bunch of stuff for free and promote it as if they’re used the product themselves or just getting paid to.
So yeah, I do it. Jump on the bandwagon. What’s a good example of that? To unwind, I’ll watch this YouTube show channel. It’s a couple of guys that drive exotic cars, daily driven exotics. And I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that in the beginning, Celsius, around the time you were drinking Celsius, was one of their big promoters, and they would plug it all the time.
Oh, we got this new flavor. We got this. We got that. They would do driving rallies where they would drive million dollar cars product placement across countries and some of the countries, they didn’t sell them, but their fans would have them imported. And they’re like, Oh, Celsius, see, we’ve got this here and we drink this.
And it is no longer a predominant sponsor for them because they, they’re not pushing it as hard as they were. Guess who invented product placement, Travis? You got it. Ding Michael Myers. Hehehe. Let’s get some of our younger kids to watch Wayne’s World and their product placement. Exactly. The entire movie, every aspect of it.
I would say Michael Jordan is a good example of consumerism. His Nike Air, they sell, they give them in. That’s probably one of the biggest personal brand type of sponsorships. Or when Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire. And he was promoting Pepsi and the whole Pepsi Coke wars. Not as big today as still Michael Jordan 30, 40 years later.
Well, you know there’s rumors that Michael’s still alive. Yeah, Michael Jordan’s still alive, of course. No, Michael Jackson, I guess. Yeah, that’s rabbit hole. Yeah, that’s deep. Do they still have the Elvis sightings or that, that kind of died down? I think he’s about 89, 90 right now. He would be like 89. One of the things popular in early Hollywood was cigarettes and the use of cigarettes.
Guess what is a, that a trigger for? That’s right, dopamine. I hate to go back into dopamine, but Here’s an interesting fact about the cigarette machine and consumerism. The cigarette machine was invented in 1880 and it went from being able to roll 4 cigarettes a minute to 20, 000 cigarettes a minute.
Jesus. I thought this was interesting too, is that the world consumes 8. 12 billion cigarettes per day. It accounts for 6 million deaths worldwide. Daily? Yearly? Uh, yearly. 6 million deaths. Yearly? How about opium? You mentioned heroin. Heroin is opium. Heroin, you know, learning increases dopamine.
Methamphetamines reduces the brain’s ability to learn. So why don’t we pump it into kids? Oh, sorry. Yep, rabbit hole. Ding, ding. The buzzer’s going off. You just got a dose of dopamine from your Amazon order, Travis. I probably did. I ordered something and it should be here today. I’m excited. It’ll be here tomorrow.
Or today. Heroes consumption. If all consumption is ritualistic, and if all rituals have heroes, all consumption is the consumption of heroes. This proposition parallels the psychological concepts of agency and identity. This was written by Palace, Nasby, and Easton. Have you guys heard the term conspicuous consumption?
Conspicuous consumption? I haven’t heard of it, but conspicuous to me sounds like something out in the open. It’s exemplified by purchasing goods exclusively designed to serve a symbol of wealth. Like luxury brand labels on clothing, high level tech tools, toys, and vehicles. You mean like my Land Rover? I wasn’t going to point at you, but you have a lot of those.
Luxury brand labels on clothing, conspicuous. I could, I could see that conspicuous. You’re flaunting your wealth with the brands that you purchased. That’s not you with your cars and your Land Rover. That’s, that’s not it. Well, that car’s 15 years old. So yeah, it wouldn’t be me. That’s the thing, man. If somebody wants to go by and do something, their money that they earned, go do it.
I don’t have a problem with that. I guess my biggest problem with consumption is over consumption. Maybe the things ways are packaged. It’s the guy that’s a lot of the celebrities that have designer outfits on the couture chains and big old diamond. Yeah, I’m successful. I’m the talented artists. You need to look like me.
I am a walking beer billboard and I’m, they, they put their product on me for you to desire to have it. Conspicuous consumption. So another thing back to propaganda and propaganda episode, we’re talking about bandwagon effect and that’s the effect of the tendency for people to adopt certain behaviors, styles, and attitudes simply because others are doing it.
And it just goes back to heroes consumption and conspicuous consumption. People see the status of someone based on what they have. I can guarantee you, man, there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of celebrities that have a lot of money and a lot of fashy things and they’re, they’re a hole. And you know, that just goes into social status.
And I think we see that in our, our, the clothes and the styles that people wear. Growing up for me, it was in central Florida. I was influenced heavily by the surf culture. You see me, I wear a lot of What was your number one surf brand? Back then, it was Quicksilver back then, I liked Billabong, I liked Rip Curl and a few of the others, O’Neal, but I wore a lot of Quicksilver, and I still do, but now I try to go out and seek other brands that people don’t hear about much.
Back in the day, there was a surf shop, a couple of surf shops in my area, Quiet Flight being one of them, and Playa Linda. I avoided Ranjan like the plague. I still do, if I can, if I can avoid it. But those were local surf shops. And to me, uh, Ranjan was the man, the system. They were the big overarching surf, uh, shop in the area that kind of took business from everywhere.
And now it’s just a tourist trap. Okay, but the point of the whole thing was, were you, did you feel like you were in a different social status because of that? I felt I fit into a different culture, not necessarily social status. Um, yeah, being able to afford those brand names did kind of say you had a little bit of status because, shoot, growing up it was, there was a lot of The, the rude dog and stuff from Walmart that, that I had to wear because you know, those shirts and those shorts were, and still are pretty expensive.
Thanks Travis. We need to close out this episode, but I just wanted to talk about a few things. Maybe something to think about things. Money can’t buy you money. Can’t buy things that you really need. And what I mean by need is money can buy you food. But they can’t buy you an appetite. Money can buy you a house, but they can’t buy you a home.
Money can buy you sex, but it can’t buy you intimacy. Money can’t buy you genuine relationships. They can’t buy you character. They can’t buy you your emotional well being. Think about what it is that you’re consuming. Is it fulfilling to you? And if so, that’s not a bad thing. But if it’s, does it make you happy?
And is it a sustainable happiness from that one purchase? But the sustainable portion is what you want. You want that to be something that you can always refer back to. Well, going back to Pavlov’s Law, for example, if you, if you were to read a book and you really enjoyed this book, it was exonerating, it was great.
Do you think, do you, exhilarating, it was great. Do you think you get the same levels of dopamine? Released in the first reading as you do the second and the third or any movie that you watch There’s a tolerance built up after the first one So I don’t think it will be the same level but depending on the time that has passed since you’ve read it you may get Um, a similar, it’s called Chasing the Dragon, if you will, where you never catch it after that first ride.
Which is my same point, like if you have too much dopamine and you stretch the point, to the point of that, it’s hard to, to experience that rush of dopamine. Well, I mean, you’ve got nostalgia, the aspect of nostalgia. Like, okay, when I was a kid. Okay. I want, I want this again now because it makes me feel young again.
It makes me feel like I felt when I was 12 and I want that product again. Hey everybody. I want to close out this episode and this is, by the way, part one and part two, we have a lot more to talk about consumerism, but I want to close out with this. It’s a Bible verse. It’s Luke 12, 15. Jesus said, watch out, be on your guard against all kinds of greed.
Life does not exist in the abundance of possessions. Hey everybody. Thanks for listening to this episode of the collective perspective podcast. Peace out deuces.