12 Stories

All Our Stuff Is Stressing Us Out

The typical American home has quite a lot of things in it

(Newser) - A team of anthropologists went into 32 typical American homes to research a new book, and here's what they discovered: We really, really like stuff. The homes were full of things purchased by families, Time reports. Example: In one home, a staggering 2,260 possessions were on display in... More »

Bloomberg's Challenger: Upstart Anti-Shopping Rev

(Newser) - Even supporters of the Rev. Billy Tallen don’t think he’s got much of a shot at beating Michael Bloomberg in this year’s election. But like any crusader, the “theater refugee” will tell you it’s not about winning, reports Good. “The reason we said yes... More »

Recession's Silver Lining: We're Content With Less

(Newser) - Americans are embracing the no-frills attitude necessitated by the recession, USA Today reports. One-third say they are spending less and plan to keep up the practice as their “new, normal” way of living, according to a study. A whopping 47% of Americans say they have all they need, another... More »

Grandparents Face Bitter Foe: Other Grandparents

Jealousy games amount to big consumer spending

(Newser) - Baby boomers are joining the ranks of grandparents, and as usual, they want to be the best—which includes outranking other grandparents in their mutual grandchildren's affections. The competition is so fierce that it's an economic stimulus unto itself: 42% of gift spending is by grandparents, the Boston Globe... More »

Gleeful Brown Is Acting Like a Drunk Dowager

Brits' PM 'swanks' and 'preens,' but the economy is his fault

(Newser) - Gordon Brown, "known as a gloomy old nail-biting misery-guts," has turned into the life of the party ever since the economic downturn hit Britain, writes Boris Johnson in the Telegraph. Deeming that the swooning market and plummeting home prices demand action, he's gleefully launched measures that will incur... More »

Pixar's Lovable Robot Has Important Lessons For Us

Wall-E warns about our over-consumption

(Newser) - Yes, Wall-E has environmental themes, but its main point is a moral one, writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. Not simply a critique of capitalism, as some conservatives have suggested, the movie sets its satirical sights on our self-imprisoning culture of consumption—and the snacking, reclining consumers in the... More »

Easter Defies Madison Avenue

Religious holiday's originis too wild to tame into commercialism

(Newser) - Christmas’ religious meaning is lost in a sea of advertising, parties, and major retail dollars, but Easter has resisted becoming a “consumerist nightmare”—and that’s because its Christian origins demand serious thought, writes James Martin in Slate. While “the Christmas story is easily reduced to pablum,... More »

Teens' Public Orgies Rattle Chilean Mores

Sexcapades reflect consumer-driven, apolitical youth culture

(Newser) - Can 100 teenagers performing oral sex on one another in a public park not be a political statement? That's one of the questions the sight of horny, apolitical, bisexual Chilean teenagers are prompting among their appalled, mostly Catholic compatriots, Newsweek reports from a country still haunted by General Pinochet's repressive... More »

Tiaras Go to Your Head

Headpieces take top honors as status symbols

(Newser) - Tiaras are this year's must-have adornment, with price tags that start at $9.99 and top out north of $400,000, the AP reports. Hello Kitty wore hers to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and girly girls of all ages—especially those with money to burn—find that the trend... More »

Cutting Back on E-Consumerism

PC World's Grant Gross joins activist online group

(Newser) - While many Americans spend big bucks online, some are using the Internet to tone down their consumerism. PC World's Grant Gross has joined a national group called the Compact, which encourages members to swear off buying new stuff whenever possible and stick to local products. It's a step "beyond... More »

Chavez Slams Quinceañera Implants

Venezuelan prez hates popular sweet-15 gift of enlargements

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez has aimed his anti-consumerist wrath at one of Venezuela’s bustiest trends. In a record eight-hour TV address Sunday, the barn-storming president assaulted his countrymen for giving breast implants as presents to girls celebrating their quinceañeras, the traditional 15th-birthday coming-of-age party.   More »

Starbucks to Get First Sip of Russian Market

Legal hurdles cleared, coffee giant aims at other US brands

(Newser) - Starbucks will finally open its first Russian store next month, the Seattle Times reports, but the coffee giant will need a jolt of caffeine to achieve the brand recognition of Western rivals who've been in the market for years. Traditionally tea drinkers, Russians have warmed up to domestic coffee purveyors,... More »

12 Stories