Every year, I notice how many newsletters I’m subscribed to when Black Friday promotion codes start rolling into my inbox. Companies promote their “once in a lifetime deals” that seem to happen, well… definitely more than once. Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and is used by many to get a head start on gift shopping, while also saving some money. And although it’s wonderful to get a great deal on an item you were going to buy anyway, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in a shopping frenzy. So, if you want to read up on consumerism and its effect on us and our environment, take a look at these titles!
Black Friday by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: This collection of twelve dystopian short stories exposes institutionalised racism, social injustice and the devastating effects of consumerism on contemporary and near-future society. And ironically, it’s named after the very day known for promoting excessive consumerist behavior.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: This novel is both a psychological thriller and an essential critique of contemporary capitalist society on consumerism, perfection, masculinity and rebellion. Fight Club’s narrator lives a regular life, working for an insurance company and collecting Ikea furniture in his free time. When one day his apartment mysteriously blows up, he moves in with a man named Tyler Durden, a charismatic stranger he just recently met. Together they start an underground bare-knuckle fighting club which quickly develops into an anti-capitalist terrorist organisation that attacks the global financial system. The book has since been adapted into a wildly successful film that is definitely worth a watch.
The True Cost by Andrew Morgan: This documentary explores the world of fast fashion, consumerism and the many questions it raises. How much do clothing pieces actually cost to make and what is behind that number? What is the psychology behind overconsumption along with the ethical and environmental implications that follow?
On this note, happy (and hopefully stress-free) shopping! Have you discovered any thought-provoking texts or films recently? We’d love for you to share them with us!