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The Story Of Stuff: A Review

854 words - 4 pages

The Story of Stuff: A Review
The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute film aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of excessive human consumption. Presented by Annie Leonard – an activist for consumerism and environmental sustainability (Story Of Stuff Project, 2013) – this video provides a simple yet well researched explanation on the ‘behind-the-scenes’ management of the life-cycle of common items consumed daily in the United States. From mining and manufacturing to distribution, consumption and waste, this presentation takes viewers on a journey to explore many missing fragments that are hardly ever reported in the system (Leonard, 2009). Watched by over 12 million people worldwide, and ...view middle of the document...

Another major issue that Leonard (2009) addressed in her presentation was that, humans nowadays are unnecessarily buying far more ‘stuff’, compared to thirty years ago. She demonstrated that goods today are either designed to be frequently replaced or to convince consumers that their product requires an upgrade. From the limited life-cycle of electronic gadgets and household items to seasonal alteration in footwear fashion, this concept of planned and perceived obsolescence drives the machine of American consumerism all year round (Leonard, 2009). However, as consumers purchase new ‘stuff’, their older – but rather functioning – ones are either discarded or chucked away, never to be seen again. Humans, particularly Americans, should be awaken from this oxymoronic and wasteful practice, as it not only affects our economy, but also our future years to come.
Throughout the presentation, Leonard (2009) reiterated the “special” relationship between the government and major corporations, and asserted that the government of the day, although ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’, is mainly engrossed on pleasing the corporations, meanwhile disregarding the proper wellbeing of its citizens. Leonard purported that many private corporations today are endlessly conspiring approaches to influence consumer behavior, yet overlooking many unforeseen psychological and environmental ramifications. It is no surprise that private companies and organizations indirectly wield immense hegemony over the government, as they are the ones that dominate the nation’s economy (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2013). Another factor...

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