Junk. It’s everywhere. It makes its way from factories into supermarkets, onto our TVs and iPad screens and into magazines; it fills our bellies, minds and rubbish bins, and ends in the ocean and overflows our tips. It’s ingrained in our society and the system we know so well. It can rid us (and Earth) of the pleasures of pure living: healthy, strong, independent, sustainable, and aware.
My project is to rethink what I see/read around me, and to unlearn what I’ve been taught; a constant process rarely mastered. Peace comes from knowing what doesn’t bring it and being aware of the junk and willing to let it go, bit by bit.
Thus begins Part I of The Allure of Junk* series, which will look at the junk that doesn’t serve our lives, including my own.
The story of Capitalism and the current economy is complex, so these posts are a microcosm of the bigger picture. This series will shed light on a minuscule part of the story from a 22-year-old dot in Australia (me).
I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by bush all my life and to have parents who were conscious about my health, both mind and body. I was encouraged to have time away from the screen, to not buy into advertising and to eat my veggies. When I was little, my lunchbox consisted of a cheese and lettuce sambo and an apple. But there was something wrong with this picture and there still is.
When something is alluring, it has an attractive or tempting quality. Junk is rubbish, cheap stuff or nonsense. And when you look at the amount of junk food, advertising, wealth inequality, problems with body image, food wastage, obesity, rubbish dumps, plastic ‘islands’ in the ocean, and so on and so forth (I don’t mean to dampen your day), it starts to look like we might be attracted to junk, in various forms.
This series will try to ask some hard questions about what this society is all about, why it is this way and what we can do about it or how we deal with it anyway. I’ve been troubled by this game before, of trying to decode what it all means, but I want to turn it into a positive project, and maybe it can be for you too as you follow along. Perhaps it sounds like a daunting project, but it’s meant to have a happy ending.. So bear with me and let me know what you think.
The sample plan for this series is:
- Quitting TV: A guide by the contradictory media graduate
- Phone use and social etiquette (my face is up here)
- ‘Distractedness’ and Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows
- Junk food versus healthy food and the health food crisis
- Fitness and lifestyle balance
- A society of waste (The Apple Conundrum)
- Food waste and the waitress
- Relationships and the junk in our minds
- Reviews of Addicted to Plastic and Garbage Island
- When junk becomes useful: rethinking, recycling, reusing
- Body image and imitation or make it up yourself
- Review of Food, Inc.
- From disconnectedness to consciousness
- Accountability and responsibility
- What do we do?
*The Allure of Junk series is based from personal perspective and what I’ve read. It is not meant to be judgmental or to diminish your life. I feel a problem with our culture of waste. You don’t have to agree with what I write. I will slip up; I’m a self-acknowledgingly-contradictory-human. I want to make the best of my life and trying to reduce the junk in it and be more aware have helped me so far (and hopefully will assist others in some way too).