After buying all these textbooks and course codes, I feel like my wallet is emptier than a Thai stripper’s soul. Pardon my lack of political correctness. But for me, this is a relatively new concern; after all, I didn’t buy textbooks for the first 2 years of college. Instead I would cheap out on textbooks and spend the money buying an extra sweater or two.
Let me come clean, I’m a brand whore. Put me in Holts with a credit card and I will spend with reckless abandon. The only thing keeping me from debt is some higher sense of duty to at least try and personify the glorious Chinese ideals of frugality and moderation.
Ironically, it seems that brand whores are now all the more prevalent in China.
This summer I went to Shanghai for my cousin’s wedding. So we also had the chance to catch up with many of my parents friends where they’d always insist to take us out for dinner.
On the first dinner, they had ordered a bottle of vintage 1982 Chateau Lafite. For those of you who know wine, its one of the 4 first growths in the premier grand cru class of Bordeaux reds; simply put it’s the quintessentially generic expensive wine. The next evening, at a different dinner they ordered ….the same wine, again a week later. To me it just didn’t make sense; isn’t the whole concept of these wineries to limit production and increase exclusivity? Why did it seem like there were just too many bottles circulating in Shanghai. Don’t get me wrong, these people were all economically sound…. they were the Jay Gatsbys of urban China. You get the point, but something was off, I asked, and regretted it immediately.
Because what my dad told me, effectively destroyed what little faith I had in our world. Turns out, people purchase empty bottle’s of prestigious vintage wines, rebottle them with some second rate Bordeaux Reds, and then sells them at high-end restaurants for thousands.
Wait, aren’t these people supposed to be smart? Surely someone must have exposed these gloriously unethical businessmen of their scam. Of course they have, many years ago. Yet, these practices continue to this day. These friends know better than anyone that the wine they are drinking is really worth… shit. But for them that’s not the point.
The point is that these rational, intelligent, adults like your parents and mine, are willing to pay a 1000% premium just for that label. And as guests, our only job was to just go with the flow.
I digress. But it serves to show, while we’re still somewhat rational, that brand obsession is very much a disease of the mind. You begin with rationalizing buying a 40-dollar t-shirt, and then you can rationalize buying an 80-dollar t-shirt. Soon enough you’ll be able to justify spending thousands on a fake bottle of wine.
And as stupid as we all know it is, we will always cook up a new way to justify it. Its cognitive bias.
The rational me is constantly wishing I could just get rid of this brand whore mentality; unfortunately, it seems I’ve already boarded this one way trip to self-demise. Its 21st century consumerism and materialism at its worst.
So my dear friends, while you still can, I implore you, make a choice not buy into this destructive brand culture.
Might as well get used to it #winter in #yeg