Sunday, October 11, 2009

Indicators of change to post consumerism society.

New indicators of a change in consumerism towards post consumerism.

Main stream media government and “wall street” keep telling us to buy stuff as the recession “has ended”. What a crock. At the same time they are bemoaning consumer spending they are saying look out for more job loses next year. You can’t have it both ways: If we are rightfully fearful of our future employment options why should we buy into their self serving demands.

This week, as your ever watchful post consumerist, I plucked these tidbits:

• Condé Nast looses big and closes four publications.

Condé Nast will be down $1 Billion in advertising revenue this year and will close four magazines and 200 staff are to lose their jobs:
  • Gourmet,
  • Elegant Bride,
  • Modern Bride
  • Cookie  
Will added stress from these loses decrease the cost of weddings (another blog opportunity) or raise the rates of bridal suicides. On the upside Bon Apetit and Brides magazines will continue to publish, so we won’t be completely bereft of very glossy very consumerist offerings in this area.

• JD Powers find Gen Y to have negative attitudes to car ownership

Mark Zimmerman of the LA Times reported that according to JD Powers and Associates (the perennial toastmaster of the auto industry) Gen Y teens and early careerists have shifted their perceptions (negatively) towards cars ownership and the auto industry. (Japan is showing “decline” in car ownership).
"The negative perceptions of the automotive industry that teens and early careerists hold could have implications on future vehicle sales," Chance Parker, vice president and general manager of J.D. Power's Web Intelligence division, said in a news release. (LA Times)
What implication?  Less car sales I think, or is it: “If I hate your product and have found a way to live without it, you will still find a way to sell it to me. Think again auto execs. A silver lining: the Chinese are wild about buying cars, and that’s a big market if you consider China has two nations (one the size of the US who are rich consumerists and the rest of their country that is illiterate an poor).

• America’s Top Chef show acknowledges people are entertaining home in latest episode. 

Bravo’s show Top Chef acknowledged that in these difficult economic times more people will be having dinner parties at home. I have found that to be a change in my personal life. Although we are not big on eating out except when travelling and as an occasional luxury, we have found ourselves at more and more backyard diner parties (we live in AZ and on the Washington coast so al fresco is then norm). We have probably held twice the number at our homes that we have in past years. Check out the Bravo episode of Top Chef and see how ten chefs in one home kitchen can really make a mess.

• Live music in our back yards.

Two weeks ago, I spent my Sunday afternoon in a friend’s back yard with fifty folks listening to one of the widest types of music you could imagine. From 16th century harpsichord, to Tom Lehrer’s satires from teh 60's to Gershwin to Joan Osborn. Flagstaff’s long time troubadour Jimmy Deblois.(see his YouTube hit) has teamed up with classical pianist Charles Spinning. They have performed at a variety of community venues and are planning more “backyard’ concerts. The highlight of the afternoon, was Groucho Marx’s ditty “Everyone says, I love you from “Horsefeathers” sung for the wonderful young couple (and their gracious family) who were having there wedding reception next door, and never called the police

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