Read Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine Free Online
Book Title: Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping|
The author of the book: Judith Levine
Edition: Free Press
Date of issue: February 1st 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.10 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2849 times
Reader ratings: 5.7
ISBN 13: 9780743269353
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I didn't buy this (I got it from the library). I was amazed, first of all, at how awkwardly-written it is considering the author is a professional editor. It's repetitive, and there is actually very little focused attention paid to any guidelines she has for what is "necessary". She has minimal insight and seems to have missed the point of her own book. I mean, this review is not well-written, either, but I'm not a writer or an editor. I'm just a disgruntled reader.
While the author does raise some good points, she doesn't do it very effectively. This was one of the most incredibly self-centered, shallow, books I have ever read. I was amazed that the author would describe herself as "a woman of bird-like consumer appetites" since she is far more brand-conscious than I am, and I would not apply the same label to myself. I don't believe for a moment that her Alain Mikli glasses or Ibex jacket (neither of which brands I have ever heard of before) are not status symbols.
Ms. Levine has a whopping sense of entitlement and a very poor grasp of cost vs. value. She admits that she had no plans to pay back her government student loans until the credit companies caught up with her. She laments the lack of state funding for the arts but has never paid more than 25 cents' voluntary donation to the MoMA ($12 suggested). She constantly mocks free, non-professional entertainment and harps on the lack of "culture" in Vermont and Bozeman, Montana, and how she lives in New York to be near art movies and high culture. She wants hand-outs. "I'm too good for your open mic night, but I want everyone else to subsidize my top-flight tastes."
Oh, yeah? Well, mock my open-mic night, but at least I'm out there contributing. I play four instruments and arrange music for them, I paint, I sew, and I fork over at the museum because I'm darned glad the museum is even there for me to look at. What do you do with your spare time? Oh, yeah--you shop. Unless I totally missed something, nowhere in the book does Ms. Levine mention a past-time or hobby that involves her actually creating something original to share.
She is spoiled and unable to entertain herself if shopping is not involved. Hand-making a Valentine is a major production and she writes about it as if she expects a medal. She is apparently addicted, also, to external stimuli--without a credit card, art movies, or theater tickets, she has no idea what to do with herself. Get a hobby, woman!
Her ravings about Bush were not as bad as I had expected, but they were out of place in the book and she has a much too simplistic a view of the economy, technological progress, etc. She should have left the politics out if she has so poor an understanding of it, or is so unwilling to consider multifaceted viewpoints. (I even, technically, agree with her on many points, but they were very poorly presented here. The book was an ill-focused rant.)
Why would an environmentalist who wants to cut costs have a New York Times subscription when she could have read most of it online or at the library, anyway, saving both money and paper?
Overall, my impression was that of a very limited, self-absorbed, immature woman whose identity seems to have been almost completely purchased--the "right" glasses, the "right" jacket, the "right" entertainment, the "right" politics, the "right" organic food--but who, left to her own devices, has never developed a sense of who she is under the trappings. One has to suspect that her non-consumption is as much an identity ploy as was her over-consumption, and won't last a minute past New Year's Eve.
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