Name Shaming Consumerism
A look at our consumer driven society
Strike a blow to rampant consumerism; give your appliance a name. Motor enthusiast, Wayne Batty, shares his thoughts on our increasingly consumeristic society.
September saw the release of the iphone 8 and X (ten in Roman numerals). What became of 9, no one knows. It is clear that consumerism is now so prolific that Apple saw fit to skip a whole generation. And we are to blame – always craving newer and flashier ego-massaging life props.
Apart from saving a tonne of money, holding onto your current mobile phone for a year or two after an upgrade is due would also save a few grams of rare earth metals.
I have a solution to those tempting, unsolicited calls from your service provider explaining how you are entitled to the latest impossibly glassy, 256 GB, wirelessly charged wonder. It is a strategy perfected by South African car owners in the 20th century: give your current mobile phone a name. I do not care whether it is Al my toilet pal or Big Screen Bertha, it matters only that you take your already intimate relationship – who else are you fondling in the bathroom every day – to the next level.that way, looking for a misplaced phone becomes more personal: “Have you seen Wally? Where’s Wally?”
The same goes for cars. Just when did we decide that trading in every three years was ideal? Sure, the headlights of the 2017 Modelyear are 12 candles brighter and the pleather is now fawn instead of taupe, but that does not mean it will carve through morning traffic any faster than the almost paid-off 2014 model currently parked in your driveway. It is not what your finance company would like to hear, but I say fight the temptation. Give 2014 a name and get attached.
Not sure it will work? Well, back in the day, we used to give our cars names and would keep them for 25 years. Gosh, some of us still own a powder blue Toyota Camry 220 called Audrey. Giving something a name makes it much harder to part with. I learned this lesson as a child when I committed the cardinal sin of naming one of our chickens. Needless to say, I only ate the vegetables that Christmas. We may not have kept our hens for long, but we kept the family Jaguar, a 1957 ex-police Mk1, for more than 30 years. His name was Dr Teeth, as much in honour of his magnificent chrome grille as his modified straight-six bite.
Picking the right name can be tricky, and there are rules: Plymouth Furys should never be called Christine, Beetles hate being called Herb, and the only time it is ok to dub your Hyundai Accent Verna is if you have a penchant for crocheting doilies and never once push her beyond 55 km/h.
But, what if you own a Chrysler Sebring convertible? You know, the one with the tortoise shell steering wheel, incontinencefriendly upholstery, and beach bucket plastics? Get it resprayed a fetching shade of Miami mauve and call her Dorothy in honour of The Golden Girls.then she will be good for a few decades of dry humour, or at least until iphone 20 hits the market three years from now …