25 Comments
Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

A visit to the local recycling centre is an eye opening experience. Local bodies forever searching for a new landfill site to dispose of the daily mega tons of waste from what were once coveted must haves of a planet destroying population.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

I think you might find a lot of us hippies haven’t switched sides or changed our values. We’re still fighting for a simpler lifestyle/ saving the planet. We just don’t have the same press coverage.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Spot on thank you David. I believe that climate change is only part of the story. We need more emphasis on overconsumption, depletion of resouces and pollution. And overpopulation.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Imagine if returned clothing, footwear and household items was instead donated to charities for distribution to people rebuilding (or just building) their lives after setbacks.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

In our small rural town there is a community op shop which is staffed by volunteers from various local organisations for fund raising. It has an enormous turnover , around $4500 per week made up of .50c - $2.50 items. Absolutely nothing is wasted. Wearable clothes go straight out on to the racks. Clothes with rips or missing buttons are sent to a women's refuge in another town, where they are mended and either sold or donated. Unwearable clothes (dirty, bizarre, in tatters) have buttons, zips, hooks and eyes and other haberdashery removed for sale and the fabric is set aside to be torn into squares and sold to local engineering firms for cleaning rags. Household appliances are checked by a volunteer electrician and fixed as necessary before sale. And so on. The whole enterprise is run by a committee of about five women who are sometimes described as old biddies and who are in fact marvellous and tireless administrators. It sounds like a successful hipster "sustainability" model; in fact it has been going for about 40 years on a foundation of old fashioned frugality. Every town should have one.

I haven't bought new clothes in at least six years. I occasionally buy secondhand from Trademe and if it doesn't fit I donate it to the op shop and off it goes to clothe someone else.

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Jan 22, 2023Liked by David Slack

Brilliant.

I too rarely buy new clothes - have found some real treasures in the op shops around Tamaki Makaurau. I love the idea of nothing being wasted - it gives me a lot of joy.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Put in a bin at the rear of any establishment for the freegans. Yes.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Yes! I'm involved in a charity where we do this and I'm frequently a conduit between consuming friends and neighbours and the families that need items. We run a list of what's required and if it's not on that list we say a polite no thank you - we're not a convenient dumping ground! Clothes have become a massive issue in that there are way too many and the volume means most are unusable. We've put a stop to donation of clothes unless we have a specific requirement. I know charity stores are in the same position. The best way forward is that we all consume less (reminder message to myself here!) Thanks for an awesome column, David.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

A great conversation starter - thanks. My quick initial thoughts:

Living is growing (versus stagnating) but there are many ways to grow - economically, socially, culturally, spiritually ...

Not all tradeable works require material consumption and the generation of waste - this column, and the music it promotes is but one example.

Go to the Allbirds shop at Britomart to get a good fit - and return your worn ones for recycling.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Re: Allbirds.....I did think, as I read David's column, that his poor feet didn't need to adapt/be adapted if he got a good-fitting shoe to begin with. The problem with oh-so-convenient online shopping for clothing and shoes is that the fit is all, and that's exactly what you can't be sure of.

Excellent column again. I'm just so glad to get the constant reminders that quiet sense can win the day!

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founding
Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

A valuable insight thanks D’man

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

While I dont think the hippies were right about much, the initial impulse that drove many, that the way of life they were being born into and expected to carry on, the consumer society was a dead end. Of course that initial didnt last long and just as Hunter Thompson described they went wildly off course into another dead end of spiritual fantasyland.

If they had just kept it simple they might have had an impact on their societies, pulled us back from the brink for a little while. But it was not to be, and that hippy movement went on to become worse consumers than their parents, who had learnt frugality thru depressions and world wars.

Now en masse we seem lost and are just following along and have allowed the worst people who should be leading us -business/finance types- to set direction for our societies.

Im not being pessimistic but that seems like a recipe for a total fuck up.

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Excuse me, man, the hippies were right about damn near everything, in the end, including the efficacy of judicious usage of hallucinogens for resetting screwed-up mind sets. IT WAS THE CYNICAL CONNIVANCE OF OLD LAISSEZ-FAIRE ECONOMICAL FINANCIAL BANDITS IN AMERICA THAT BROUGHT IN "NEO-LIBERALISM" , USER PAYS, AND FUCK PAYING TAXES (IN OTHER WORDS TO HELL WITH SUPPORTING A WELFARE STATE). I remember all us hippies in NZ were overjoyed when Lange's Labour government went anti-nuke. I happened to be apple-picking in Nelson at the time, and a visiting Pom from Leeds said to me "Ha! You Kiwis are so naive...now they will turn around and try and destroy your unions and your national health service, you watch". I did not believe him, and then lo and behold, the Labour party got shafted from inside (Lange was too young, too bad Kirk died, eh) by American/Hollywood/Ronald Reagan inspired worshippers...the revolution that was labelled "Rogernomics", and it sure as hell wasn't us crest-fallen, gob-smacked hippies that voted John Key's government in...

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Maybe it was the weekend hippies who were at fault. And pretty sure judicious use of hallucinogens to reset minds didnt turn up until people like T McKenna came along.

But rather people taking drugs to reset themselves, than wars/work and consumerism which just kills.

Dont know if NZ's anti nuke stance lead to the destruction of so much that was right in NZ at that time. Douglas was definitely cosying up to the Chicago economics school of thought, and Lange let him have too much leash. I have heard it said Milton Freidman actually visited with Douglas at the time but I dont know if its true. And once he had started the deregulation ball rolling the Nats just carried it on with Bolger/Shipley/Richardson all playing roles. Key came on stage very late in the piece AFAIK and many former hippies were getting on the property speculation train.

As for the US where hippiedom grew up, the state and federal apparatus loved gearing up to bash their own children back into the preferred shape. It was the wrong thing to do and probably screwed their country.

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I never said the anti-nuke stance led to the destruction of so much that was right, I think....it just made us feel like we were on the right track, and therefore lower our guard....my friend from Leeds University in the UK was far more politically astute than us Kiwis, that's all...what then happened over here re shift of the Left to Centrism had already happened in the UK, was what he was pointing to.....anyway, I really like your reference to "weekend hippies"....the sheep among the goats....

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

When I was at NZ Post , I felt so very sorry for our Returns team, you could only liken their role to that of being at the bottom of a drain and faster than you can clear the old stuff out more new returns are arriving, the volumes are quite staggering and it's a very labour intensive process ...

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Absolutely spot on the mark, once again David. Helps consolidate lots of current issues, and the way forward.

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founding

I blame TV for that growth in consumption. Feel good Fill your trolley

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Very thought provoking piece David. What a great target it would be for any Govt. to adopt the views of Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn in the second paragraph of your quote and make them their policy.

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“Keeping up with the Jones’s is killing me,

Gonna hang that man who said the best things in life are for free.”-Lowell George

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Great song choice :) As well as being a very thought-provoking column.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

As always, an insightful piece…thank you. I do read of these very happy countries and am in awe at of the policies that bring such a feeling of well being. Are they mainly monocultural? We could emulate free dental etc with more income (CGT for example) but I feel compelled to ask if any of these countries were colonized and indeed plundered at times by the wealth seeking English; French, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch over the last 3 centuries? The seeds of division are constantly nurtured here unfortunately, even though we’ve made significant progress.

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by David Slack

Doesn’t it seem odd that one has to suggest such things to a Labour Party?!

Interesting piece. Thank you as ever. DC

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See my comment above....about naive Kiwis and sadder and wiser Poms....

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Jan 23, 2023Liked by David Slack

Great. Very happy to hear that degrowth is on your list of topics for 2023. Definitely interested to get your take. If you haven’t already, check out anything written by Jennifer Wilkins on the topic https://heliocene.org/about/

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