January 12, 2005

Addicted to change

Have we become addicted to change in America, irregardless of change in the functional utility of what we are replacing? It seems as if a major measure of the quality of ones life is variety through change, regardless if the change brings any new functional utility to our lives. There is no mystery of why this is so. It is simply the resultant of conditioned psychology by a consumer driven and dependant economy, which brainwashes people into believing that they must have what’s new.

A good percentage of the time, when we make purchases of things like cloths, cars, new homes, appliances, remodeling and the like, it is not done out of functional utility improvement, but rather, simply for change. The change may be inspired by being tired of what is old or from status that can be gained by having possessions at the higher end. Even if there is slightly new utility or functionality in our trade, most times, it is not something that we really need. Even relationships are traded in simply from the rationalization that people get tired of each other....the newness, challenge, mystery and associated pleasure fades. It’s akin to chewing gum. Some people only chew the gum because of the sugary taste during its,newness, but once the sugar is gone, they throw out the gum and pop in another new stick. Is the utility the sugar and newness or the chewing of the gum?

Does this addiction to change and something new apply to the functional utility of truth as well? If something is true, but old, do some folk grow tired of hearing it? Without a doubt! Take for instance race and racial discrimination and its effects. This is certainly old news and an old explanation of black problems, but there is still much truth in it, despite all the progress this nation has made. Despite its foundation in validity, however, some (many) people are simply tired of hearing about it and thus desire a change in explanation (or topic) for the causes of black problems, whether or not functionally more truthful. Not only has race, as an explanation and topic, become old, so has the people and leaders who risked their lives fighting for equality. A growing number of people are now tired of them too and are calling for their replacement (some new blood and thinking), with no proof that their functional utility has diminished or that their replacement utility is superior.

I believe that change is a way that we exercise our freedom. It gives us a way of feeling empowered and in control of our lives and society. Freedom is a form of pleasure to humanity, however, the over exercising of freedom is akin to freedom masturbating. Our society and culture is simply into change because we can and it gives us pleasure from variety and the sense of power. In truth, we are not really adding to our functional quality of life mostly, but rather, to our perceived quality of life defined by a corporate capitalistic interest. That interest, through the conduit of advertisement, keeps the system buoyant by promoting that people trade in the old for the new, which keeps people consuming and corporate profits flowing...and the elites smiling at their portfolios.

4 Comments:

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

This is definitely a phenomenon that exists in America’s capitalist culture. People tend to get tired of hearing about a thing, even if they have yet to fully comprehend it. This can be witnessed as you pointed out concerning race using the example of those who say Black folk speaking about racism in America are doing nothing more than “Blaming the white man” I will be first to say that some things have become cliché’ but to accuse Black folk or any Black person of Blaming the white man without looking into their complaint is in most cases an attempt to obfuscate. This can also be witnessed in how the media and many white folk accuse Al and Jessie of race baiting when the truth is the problems that they tackle were not created by them, they simply answered the call to address them. However, due to their continued tackling of race issues and America’s addiction to change, people tend to believe that Jessie and Al are up to the same old tricks and that it is time for something new, never paying attention to the fact that the problems these men tackle are not new, thus the means to address them are not new. It is as if people get tired of the cure of an illness but not grow tired of the illness itself and then wonder why we still say they are sick.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Most def. Also, many of these folks want the power to exercise against something or someone, more so than the desire for the change to be for the better. This is called spite, I believe. Many Negro-Cons suffer from spite of black leadership and liberalism, for whatever reason. Thus, their spite leads them to focus on changing the guard….rather than IMPROVEMENT. However, when the option is binary, a vote against is a vote for, by default. The “for”, in the political context, is a vote for the party that harbors the most anti-black sentiments.

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

I neglected to mention another key aspect of seeking change or something new and that is FANTASY. Often times, we develop fantasies of what it would be like to have something that we do not currently have, that attracts us. Those fantasies work by filling in the blanks of the unknown, with what we would like it to be. Thus, we often seek change based upon the fantasies of our hopes and desires. However, once we get the object of our attraction, reality sets in and the unknowns and assumptions are filled in and it usually fails to live up to the fantasy. However, our quest for the fantasy and the unwillingness to “settle” and be content, leads us to keep changing in the hope of fulfilling our fantasies. But even if our fantasies are filled….it becomes old and thus a NEW fantasy is born.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger shannon said...

An aside: I have heard more whites blame the black man, than blacks blaming the white man. I mean, whites who don't have the scores to get into a good college, or whites who don't have the gumption to get a decent job complain about affirmative action- but they won't employ the solution we are asked to on real problems.

I think part of this is our TV culture. On TV, everything is resolved in 30 minutues without any uncomfortable changes, or anything. So some people are conditioned to think all problems are simple and can be resolved easily.

 

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