Father’s Day and the Conundrum of Modern Economics

I’m venting here: Why must everything in our society be about consumption? I receive SourceNet bulletins every morning, typically requests from reporters for interview subjects and quotable experts, and was excited to see that Kid Tips Magazine was seeking suggestions for what children can give for Father’s Day. My immediate thought: “Great! Can we encourage kids to make something rather than buy something?”


I’m clearly on a completely different wavelength than this particular writer, though. When I read further into the request, I found this:

“Kid Tips Magazine is searching for Unique Father’s Day gift ideas. Our readership is 5.2 million parent readers. This will also be used for a Kid Tips report on for a national broadcast segment. I’m mostly interested in automotive, backyard gear, tools and summer fashion.”

Doesn’t sound like there’s much space for a birdhouse made out of popsicle sticks, a pinecone mobile or a book of homemade “project helper vouchers”, does there?
And that’s the frustration I have with these holidays and with our culture overall. That was the basis of my earlier complaint about Mother’s Day too.
As our society has moved more and more into a constant consumption model, people are having a harder time differentiating between shopping and showing affection.
What’s scary to contemplate is how it’s all so intertwined: marketing exists to make us unhappy and dissatisfied with who we are and what we have. So we buy things. So the manufacturers and stores make a profit, which they then pour back into advertising more things. A big, vicious loop that we’re caught in. And, worse, most people don’t even know it.
So, Kid Tips Magazine, I challenge your editorial staff to have a half-page sidebar on “Ten Cool Things You Can Make for Your Dad” along with the usual advertorial content about things to buy, buy buy.

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