Friday, February 20, 2009

the Globe and the material life

The Boston Globe which has historically earned its living publishing materialist porno such as this Decorating DERRING-DO article from a year ago, is having trouble adjusting to the new realities. One of the owners of a "charming property in the Berkshires" makes a token acknowledgment of the virtue of thrift, or rather what a rich person imagines this curious notion of "thrift" might be like. They have "given themselves a renovation budget of just $15,000 a year". A pittance!

"Neither of us likes debt. So if you are looking at faucets, and the one you like is $1,400, you don’t just buy it,” Holben says. “You keep looking till you find the one you like better for $230."

A real pennypincher! Here's a nice Moen one-handle for $229.67 at Home Depot. Acceptable! But Holben's thrift does not extend, of course, to for example the 708 faucets available for less than $100. We do have our standards, after all.

More recently we see an article Closet Case, in which a young woman laments that she has 250 pairs of shoes, and so many clothes that her bedroom closet collapsed. Oh dear! Solution? Re-examination of materialist values? No, silly--hire a consultant to turn an extra bedroom into a walk-in closet!

The current "Spending Smart" series includes an article Gardening, is easy, thrifty, which compares the savings of growing your own tomatoes to the $3 you might pay for a single tomato in "some pricey groceries". And don't forget to plant some fancy heirlooms, to "impress your friends". That's spending smart!

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