Singapore Expats Forum

Are there any anti-materialism non-consumers out there?

Post here to organise an event, gathering, meetup, party. Search for expats from your country, sports partners or meet new friends here!
castadrift
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu, 07 Oct 2010

Are there any anti-materialism non-consumers out there?

Postby castadrift » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 8:28 pm

I know its a tall order for Singapore but the last 4 months I've been here I've felt suffocated by the mass consumerism that this city thrives on. I've only recently started seriously exploring the ideas of anti-materialism/consumerism/affluenza (though its something I've been loosely thinking about since I was a kid) and the idea of seeking simplicity and authenticity (which just feels so right!). I'm looking for people to talk to and bounce ideas off (rather than shopping, fine dining, binge drinking etc etc) as I feel completely isolated in this city when it comes to these topics. Anyone else feel like there is more to life than the constant stress and competition of the corporate world and the meaninglessness of material goods?

Ideas I'm interested in: affluenza, psychoanalysis/psychology, the corporate world, moneyless living, living off and with nature, reducing waste, authenticity, sense of community, status anxiety, the impact of an asian upbringing in the capitalist world

Books I've read, am reading, will read (surprisingly enough): Affluenza (Oliver James), Status Anxiety (Alain de Botton), High Price of Materialism (Kasser), The Moneyless Man (Mark Boyle), Freud, some books on meditation... any other recommendations?

No I'm not a hippy. I guess as an example of how I feel: I recently spent some time in rural thailand and the warmth I felt from being with both the locals, travelers and abundance of nature devoid of much material possessions, contrasted with the immediate coldness and sense of alienation I always feel when walking around Singapore is a strong motivation to re-evaluate my priorities in life.

Interested in people's thoughts and comments.

mbjs514
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue, 22 Jul 2008

Anti Materialism etc

Postby mbjs514 » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 12:17 pm

No you aren't a hippy! I understand what you are saying and encourage your thoughts.

You may not find any movement or organisation that fits it all, however, you may want to google societies which support nature etc
Try

Nature Society of Singapore,
Singapore Environmental council
Vegetarian society of singapore - u dont have to be a vegetarian to join them, sign up for their newsletters, and u will find interesting events


Please drop me a line, I would be happy to have discussions and brainstorm with you.

unclerexy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat, 29 Jan 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby unclerexy » Sat, 29 Jan 2011 6:34 pm

I am not too sure what you are looking for, but from the sounds of it you appear to me like a harley davison owner who simply needs that additional friend to ride down the local expressway with you. vroom vroom.

certainly, i can use a penpal if you do not despise me. i am as lazy as garfield, only the best popsicle or the sound of the pizza man at the door can get me up from my comfortable seat.

I guess that's a behavioural thing in Singapore, perhaps you may not want to psychoanalyse too much into it.

thanks for sharing... =)

castadrift
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu, 07 Oct 2010

Postby castadrift » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 7:44 am

mbjs514 - thanks for the ideas, I will definitely check those out.

unclerexy - if you're advising me to just turn a blind eye, i think that's a little unrealistic. an additional friend would be comforting, but better would be to uncover a heathen of harleys to offer some vestige of hope for humanity. i have not yet reached your levels of apathy.

unclerexy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat, 29 Jan 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby unclerexy » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:38 pm

castadrift,

with a name like yourse, i would be surprised if you did not just come out from the toilet and remembered to wash your hands but forgot to flush the toilet bowl.

MY question for you is: Forget about me. Are you taking care of your brethren today?

Singapore is not a place about guts. It is about intellect, attention, care, and concern. Try demonstrating guts in your face, and you get into trouble with the law.

My brethren, I have seen American bosses coming to Singapore when I was working with a American startup based in Singapore, the CEO drives a red ferrari in USA and comes to Singapore preaching about environmentalism and reducing the carbon footprint globally. What gives? If you find that Singapore, abet its apathy, is still too stressful a place for you, fine! Return to the Thai jungles, become a home-leaver, which I guess you already are, wear a robe, and there are certainly going to welcome you with open arms and even offer you food and friendship.

If it ain't gonna work for you at first try, maybe it isn't meant for you.

I hope you get my drift.

Thank.

User avatar
prkravi
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed, 07 Mar 2007

Postby prkravi » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 3:02 pm

To quote Morgan Freeman, i guess at some point we all get [u]Institutionalised[/u].

But then that's evolution and we are a part of it aren't we?

unclerexy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat, 29 Jan 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby unclerexy » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 5:13 pm

Evolution, Revolutionism, Darwinism, Thai Forestianism, look, I am a Zenism and I do not see a difference between Colgate and OralB, but I know it is important to brush my teeth.

Even Pikachu knows what evolution is, and it rejects it because if it evolves into Raichu he gets to become big and fat and powerful, but he is no longer cute like a hamster should.

Ever heard of Pichu? When the Japanese runs out of ideas regarding evolution, they thought, if Pikachu was cute and small, Raichu was big and f ugly, maybe we should have a pointless and tiny Pichu. Great let's sell it for a quick buck, the girls and kids will love them.

Nobody cares a shoot about Rattata, also a rat pokemon? why? because brethren, rattata is deluded, ordinary, does not know special moves, gray and not cute, and when it evolves into raticate, it is still deluded, ordinary, does not know special moves, gray, and not cute.

As if to make a point, Singapore in this context are the Pikachu family, Thailand rurals in this context are the Rattata family. Nobody cares a shoot about them.

That's precisely why the warmth can be found there. Amongst deluded, ordinary people.

my 2 cents.

unclerexy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat, 29 Jan 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby unclerexy » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 5:19 pm

I don't know how to do the image upload thingy in this forum. But when I was in rural Thailand in 2006, the candy costs 1 baht and the the porridge I had in the breakfast time was the best I ever tasted.

Image
Image

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35115
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 30 Jan 2011 8:23 pm

The second image looks like a tootsie roll pop to me.

Gsis
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon, 08 Mar 2010

Re: Are there any anti-materialism non-consumers out there?

Postby Gsis » Tue, 01 Feb 2011 7:14 pm

Castadrift, you are not alone feeling this way. This is a small island with more than 4 million people who all want one thing: a better life than others. So for many, it is not just about how you can be better, it is also about how you can get rid of the better ones… There is no room and time for smelling the rose or smiling to the people in front of you. I am not saying people from other places are much different. But at least they can just pick up and move away if things are not getting better without the hassle of changing citizenship… I guess my point is can Singaporean be less materialistic even though they want to? The answer I have is: No, they don’t have a choice.

loli7347
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed, 02 Feb 2011
Location: Bedok, Singapore
Contact:

Feel like we're in the same boat?

Postby loli7347 » Wed, 02 Feb 2011 3:52 pm

I was reading your post Castadrift. Sounds like what I was thinking myself, just this morning. It's very materialistic here and a very heavily consumer oriented society with not much room for anything else (geographically). It can be quite lonely and alienating if you're not a shopper. I'm not. If you want to chat, or a reading buddy, I'd be down.
Maybe a beer over the holiday weekend or whatever.
28/F from New York. etc. u can email me at nataliaroma@g mail ...

tyianchang
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue, 25 Jan 2011
Location: uk

Re: Are there any anti-materialism non-consumers out there?

Postby tyianchang » Wed, 02 Feb 2011 7:41 pm

castadrift wrote:
I know its a tall order for Singapore but the last 4 months I've been here I've felt suffocated by the mass consumerism that this city thrives on. I've only recently started seriously exploring the ideas of anti-materialism/consumerism/affluenza (though its something . Anyone else feel like there is more to life than the constant stress and competition of the corporate world and the meaninglessness of material goods?

One can get desensitized by the city environment. It would be nice to have more open spaces and parkland in SG. I can empathized with your antipathy towards the constant stress and competition of the corporate world . I once shared a condo with a couple where the wife worked till 12 midnight in the bank and constantly talked about how much more she's putting in than others etc. It was awful.

moneyless living, living off and with nature, reducing waste, authenticity, sense of community, status anxiety, the impact of an asian upbringing in the capitalist world

I was in KL when I met a French guy called Francois at a friend's way back in my uni days in 1972 . He helped organise Auroville - the place where a moneyless world exists. I believe it's still running and growing. It's in Pondycherry in Southern India. I visited Auroville myself when I travelled India in 1973 -74. It occupies hundreds of hectares and is divided into 4 areas - the cultural, social, educational and meditational hubs.
It was started by Sri Aurobindo (Indian)and the Divine Mother( French ). You can find their books and read up about them. Auroville is the only moneyless world as far as I am aware. They use a system of bartering to exchange services and goods and have a few cottage industries.


No I'm not a hippy. .


When I was there in the 70s, most of the followers were hippy and yuppy types. In fact, some yuppies have gone on to start The Green School in Bali. I say types as I don't think anyone can be strictly categorised.
tyianchang

mbjs514
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue, 22 Jul 2008

Anti Materialism etc

Postby mbjs514 » Fri, 04 Feb 2011 4:44 pm

Once, when I wrote to a spiritual teacher about my sadness about animals being mistreated here, he reminded me that what we pay attention to increases. That instead of seeing the cruelty, I need to envision all animals here being loved and cared for.

That didnt mean not feeling for the animals, turning a blind eye to the cruelty or being a polyanna and 'thinking positive'. It meant paying attention to what I was doing about it, if i was caring for some stray animals in some small way, if i was contributing to their well being in some way, no matter how small.

By that same token, when I see other things I dont like here, I ask myself, what can I do to not perpetuate or encourage it and what is the opposite that i can do? Having lived and travelled in different parts of the world, I realise there is no 'perfect' place, its different strokes for different folks.

. In the building where I live, nobody smiles or acknowledges you but any time I get into the lift with someone, I greet them and smile at them. They look at me strangely , but eventually they warm up. No matter how crappy I am feeling, I smile at them. Of course i am not perfect... i still want to kill the people who walk slowly on the right lane, or who dont stand on the left if they arent walking up (hey, i aint got no halo over my head!..yet!)

Castadrift, its only been a few months here, give yourself time. Its great that you are reaching out to meet like minded people.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Events, Gatherings, Making Friends”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests