Sunday, 14 August 2011

In Praise of NOT NEW.

We live in contrary times. Our values are being challenged from those that create, to one that acquires. Material possessions and the accumulation of stuff is a relatively new phenomena.
The New Immigrant arrivals were the ultimate DIY'ers who had to build homes, make clothes and prepare food from scratch. Retail Therapy, was not invented and shops were few and far between.Compare this to now days and attitudes to spending.

Some old things have always been valued and treasured for sentimental reasons but these days, newer, bigger, faster, and better seems to be what the majority of people want .
Take cars for example, I had a theory that i could own a car for just $20.00 per week by buying a cheap car for around $1000.00 with WOF and Rego and as long as it ran for a year I was ahead. Nicer more expensive cars devalue once you buy them and often require more expensive repairs and are hard to sell.
We love car shows and classic cars but we have a glut of not wanted cars that are not re-used or re-cycled. Recently I have developed an appreciation of big block muscle cars from America as I have learnt to understand the hours of time and money and commitment involved in the restoration of these cars. The point is perfection, gleaming chrome, immaculate paint, sparkling interior and keeping it original are prized by enthusiasts. Pride in workmanship is the rewards as often the costs are never recouped.

Compare this with pressing your nose against the showroom of some expensive European dealership window with cars costing several years income for many.
What are the messages being registered. I accept that all people need to have goals and aims but we should be valued for who we are and what we do-not what we own.
Have a look around you. How many items have been hand made or made by someone you know? What skills are we losing by buying instead of making and restoring?

In praise of older items, the NOT NEW, have more personality, were made to last and stand out as originals instead of mass produced items. I like clothing and jewellery from decades past. Recycled and vintage clothing is one area that is growing in popularity as people reject the cult of the new and seek something with more meaning than mass made goods.

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