Products of Consumerism (Q1 Kafkaesque BM Day & Leonard)

Press Release:

For this project, David and myself spent a lot of time evaluating the 'isms' of today and in the beginning we had some trouble trying to find one that was not only the most divisive and controversial, but we wanted to pick one of the most prevailing. After days of collaboration we decided to choose the ideology of consumerism. Consumerism is undeniably something that affects us all and is something that many of us recognize but dismiss. David and I's goal for this project was to point out consumerism and its flaws in a way that was both relatable but current, which is why we decided to go the short story route. Short stories not only stick with people but they'll actually read them! So we thought this was a great approach to show the affects of consumerism, we were inspired to do this from the recent success of the Humans of New York and thought why not show 'Products of Consumerism'.


This story talks about the problems consumerism can cause. Bob has many nice things like a big LCD TV, a new sports car, and a nice house. Jim on the other hand lives in an apartment has a cheap TV, and a used car. Bob has a good paying job where he works long hours to pay for the stuff he wants. Jim has an average paying job where he works normal hours a day. Bobs life is basically a mess because he doesn’t have much free time and is tired at the end of the day. Jim lives a good life where he may not make a lot but does save a lot.

Tiffany is a prime example of consumerism gone wrong. She goes to a school where all of her friends come from affluent families and she is constantly trying to keep up with them. She secretly works a job a few miles out of town to pay for application fees but instead she spends her earnings shopping with her friends buying things that she can’t afford.

Audience Response:

Let us evaluate the benefits of the great short story. The minisculity that lets us go on with our day, the vagueness and uneasiness that leaves us wanting more, and most importantly the messages that can be conveyed through short pieces of literature. These messages are most visibly manifested in Day & Leonard’s new collection of short stories. The collection explores one of today’s most divisive issues, consumerism.

Consumerism is the most prevailing issue of today. It is the issue that we all recognize and acknowledge is there but failed to actually address. It is the justification for all of our guilty pleasures, all of our desires, and all the things that we are willing to do the unspeakable to his attain.  Whether it is buying the new rose gold iPhone or if it is saving up to buy a new pair of Christian Louboutin heels,  or in some cases striving for an Ivy League education. We have all failed to resist temptation against consumerism.  Although many of us may not want to admit to it Day & Leonard  do that for us.  Through the short stories  that we all somehow  relate to.

I'd like to begin with Tiffany’s story. Tiffany is a 20 year old college student who has a lot of wealthy friends. These friends have a high disposable income,  They use this income to buy the latest and greatest designer clothing, shoes, bags, you name it they've got it. Tiffany wanting to be accepted takes desperate measures to keep up with them.  these measures include not only spending her own paycheck that is supposed to go to words her tuition, but even goes as far as stealing to keep up with her friends.  When Tiffany begins to start wearing the same designers as her friends they do indeed, treat her differently.  Now with this acceptance comes a greater responsibility to maintain it in order to do so Tiffany begins stealing more, one day in an attempt to steal Tiffany is caught by security but worst her friends see her.  

First, let's evaluate the situation holistically. a lot of us may say “ what was going through that girl's mind”  but the thought process is the same,  Society breeds of all to strive for acceptance. Tiffany was simply striving for acceptance not only from society but from her friends in fact her friends what to do to be accepted by society just as much is Tiffany they just did not have to go as far as she did. But where does this mindset stem from, why are we so persistent and being accepted. if we all face the same difficulties trying to attain acceptance why do we still continue to strive for it in the first place?

I believe that these ideas of what is acceptable and not stem from the twisted  and corrupt American dream.  We are taught to strive for economic and social prosperity and that we can attain this fairly no matter what. However this is not the case, there should not be one generic version of what success is.  success varies, it's personal, it's different for every person someone else's success is someone else's mediocrity. We should all be allowed to set and make our own goals.  In order To do so we must take a stand but in order to do that we must recognize that consumerism is in fact a problem. in many cases people will dismiss it but and a lot of other different cases people who acknowledge it and embracing it as if it's something to be proud of. not that someone should be ashamed but someone or to be  conscious about it impacts.

Because oddly enough  there are other Tiffany's out there in the world you need guidance. But in order for them to gain that guidance they need society to acknowledge the doctrine of consumerism and the American dream. not only must they acknowledged it but in addition they are to change it. Changing it to something more personalized, something that fosters self competition but something more healthy.

Everyone plays a part in keeping consumerism alive and it must stop for the greater good. So for starters, maybe  don't go and wait in line for a day for cell phone, or spend mortgage payment on a TV or shoes what makes faces that will help you get to the goal that you want. Because what you want matters the most to you. And when it comes to happiness if you aren't disrupting someone else's it should only matter to you and you only.  That is what I believe that the author wanted us to take from the bulk of the stories that not only is consumerism toxic but it is something that can easily be stopped if we just focus on our own personal happiness and nothing else.

Cultural Fabric: This piece of literature is an example of some of the problems consumerism causes. People nowadays are buying too much stuff or are buying really expensive stuff. According to a news report one family had over 2000 possessions visible in their first 3 rooms and this is the stuff that they actually see. The boston globe did a report on how grandparents are 42% of gift buyers to earn their grandchild’s affections. There was a news report on how people are buying tiaras from jewelry stores which is surprising since tiaras are more of a European thing.