Friday, February 27, 2009


I prefer shopping for food to shopping for clothes, though earlier this week I made an expedition to the vintage and consignment shops of La Jolla, to see what a very upscale community might support in this area. One designer-oriented shop had prices exceeding that at Macy's -- a whole section of Chanel. But I'm just not that into it -- I preferred my brief look through the upscale grocery store on the same street as the shops (it disappointed me).

Linda Grant, an English author that I enjoy, writes a great deal about clothing and shopping. She published an article about shopping in today's Guardian: Balm for the soul. As she usually does, Grant looks at every aspect of her subject -- the history of the word shopping, the politics of the activity, and the pleasure she and others get from it. She says:

Most hostile responses to shopping see it as an act of acquisition, of avarice and greed for things that we do not need but advertising and marketing have made us think we want, a condition that Marx called "false consciousness". We are dupes, and only the strong individualist can hold out against mass consumption. And there are others, of course, who truthfully say that they have no political objection to shopping but they just can't stand it as an activity and regard it as a waste of time.

Against whom I would set those of us who regard it as a pleasure.
Recently I reread Linda Grant's book When I Lived in Modern Times, and I often read her blog. I recommend her work!

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