Luxuries and Vices

Bank Holiday Monday. And I have very much been in day off mode. I didn’t even bothered to get out of my sweats today.

I continued my way through Working and Thinking on the Waterfront.

Tease the people with “luxuries and vices” said Paul Henri Spaak. He was talking about how to rebuild the Belgian economy after the Second World War. Basically he said in order to rebuild and recover, the shops needed to be filled with luxuries and vices because people will work harder for toys and superfluities than they will for necessities.

That struck me as true. Think about how much effort and time we put into work to earn more money. To what end? To buy more stuff – a bigger house, a faster car, a bigger TV, high tech gadgets, luxury vacations etc. None of which we need. We need the basics – shelter, food, clothing – and these don’t have to be extravagant. They don’t have to be fancy, just functional and basic. And yet, it seems, that is not enough for us. We’ve been bullied into the consumer society, made to feel inadequate if all we have is the bare minimum to survive.

Surviving is for losers. Winners thrive.

Is that really what they want us to believe?

I finished reading Kim Addonizio’s What Is This Thing Called Love.  A few of my favourite poems in this collection were South of the Border, Body and Soul, Kisses, and Bad Girl.  I should probably go into some of them a little more in depth here, but perhaps another time. Overall I rate the book highly.  I like the realism and grittiness of Addonizio’s poems. She’s a poet I’d really like to meet in person, see if she lives up to the spirit I feel in her poems.

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