07 June 2007

The pact

While I'm talking about against-the-grain lifestyle choices (see below), I'll fess up to another one. At the start of the year, Jenn and I took a pact, vowing that we would buy no new products for a year. We made some exceptions, of course. Consumables like food, deoderant, hair gel and such didn't count. Neither did underwear and socks, which we didn't think would be good -- or safe -- things to buy secondhand.

We're nearly at the halfway point, and it's been surprisingly easy. Most things we want we can find a way to get. Books come from Half.com or used from JudyBug's Books. I got that kick-ass Olympus 35mm camera I wanted, but we bought it factory refurbished instead of shiny-new. And it feels great not adding to commercial demand for consumer products. It's also been really stress-free spending neither dime nor time in Wal-Mart, Target, Peachtree Mall and the like.

Our access to new books and new music might prove the biggest challenge in the next few weeks. Jenn's a big Harry Potter fan, and Book 7 is out in July. I'm a huge fan of bands Wilco (whose new disc is already out) and Okkervil River (out in August).

Now, I subscribe to eMusic, where I get 40 digital downloads a month. That's a nice loophole, since I'm not buying a physical product, I'm buying bits and bytes, which I eventually burn to a blank CD that I already have. But eMusic steers away from major label releases (they'll probably have the O.R. disc, but no Wilco).

So what to do...? I really like supporting indie record stores and bookstores. I really like supporting the fringe bands who are likely to need the Soundscans that come from CD sales. And Harry Potter -- well, Jenn can probably wait until one turns up secondhand. J.K. Rowling doesn't need our money.

It's also unclear as to whether a prostitute
counts as a "product" or a "service."

1 comment:

cath said...

I'll lend Jenn one of our copies. For the sake of marital harmony, we buy not one, but two Harry Potter books (the anti-non-consumer-Pact) at a time. We don't share well when it comes to Harry Potter.