Consumption and Production for children.

Dogtown and the Z-boys is a documentary regarding the birth, life, and death of the “Z-Boys”, the group of young, rebellious upstarts in the 70’s, said to be the founders of modern skating. And for what it’s worth, it was a thrilling doc.

However, the blog isn’t about the boys, it’s about the use of culture and commodity. Nevertheless, Dogtown is a superb doc which is recommended.

andreas fabricius   certified ski instructor says:
Marxism?   Start it with: “What would happen if Sahara incorporated communism? Answer: In the beginning nothing, but then all of a sudden sand would be a needed good”.

Marx’s formula for a commodity states it as :

COMMODITY: “an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind” (Marx, Capital 125) and is then exchanged for something else (thank you Felicity for doing the hard work!)

And later goes on to say that man uses natural commodities to form something pleasing to himself, or “Necessary”.

“The form of wood is altered by making a table out of it, yet for all that, it continues to be wood. But, so soon as it steps forth as a commodity, it is changed into something transcendent”

In a way, this brings upon thoughts of the modernisation of commodities as a materialistic culture. In regards to Marxism,  “Materialism refers to a materialist concept of history…he starting point before anything else”

Where would you play contemporary consumption and production in maslow’s hierachy of needs? Or where would you draw the line?

In reference to the wood+table metaphor, look at it this way:

We take a piece of wood, and burn it, using this fire to cook food. Level 1 on the hierachy.

We take several pieces of wood, build a shack to shelter us from harsh weather conditions. Level 2 on the hierachy

We take several hundred pieces of wood, and create a home, to house our family and friends. Level 3 on the hierachy

And so on and so forth. The Z-boys, or Ho/Stecyk would use these to create alternative and revolutionary designs, to help lesser privileged kids create their own identity through a specific set of cultural boundaries and rules they themselves created. In essence, production not only physically helps the greater good, but also helps in a more spiritual way.

To get back on the actual point of this blog, it’s easy to look at ideologies of people, and their own culture. If you gave a skateboard to a Z-boy, he would use it to become “King for a day” and skate on it. If you have a skateboard to a native, with no home, or concept of sporting as leisure, he would likely burn it, and use it to survive.

To show an example, take this visual metaphor:

This, is a piece of paper. There’s nothing entirely fancy about it, apart from the pictures on it. Paper can be used for many things. Drawing, writing, burning (Disclaimer: I am not an arsonist) or whatever. It’s used primarily for writing things on. This could be key information, at a more basic, necessary level.

Or in the hands of a skilled craftsman (that’s me!!), it can be used to create something entirely useless, like a fox wearing a suit. Now, whether or not you’d describe it as useless is quite objective. This paper fox doesn’t serve any real purpose apart from being visually and aesthetically pleasing. But what else would I really use it for? For me, I feel this is a good way to use paper.

In conclusion, the concept of use and commodity changes as culture itself changes. What we can see as useful today could be seen as trash the next. It really just hangs on who deems what as useful. And that people don’t realise that money is actually just paper and metal.

Oh, shit.

-Buffy is still insanely hard to find specific scenes for without some fucker putting “metal” over the top of the best!

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One Response to Consumption and Production for children.

  1. i love your analogy for use-value. foxy.

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