Monday, February 27, 2006

Not Filene's

And to offset the item on Filene's, Baldwin sent me an article from the SF Chronicle on a group that has vowed not to buy anything new in 2006.

They call themselves the Compact. They have a blog, a Yahoo group and monthly meetings to reaffirm their commitment to the rule, which is to never buy anything new. "I didn't buy a pair of shoes today," said Compacter Shawn Rosenmoss, an engineer and a San Francisco resident of the Bernal Heights neighborhood. "They were basically a $300 pair of clodhoppers. But they were really nice and really comfortable, and I haven't bought new shoes for a while. But I didn't buy them. That's a big part of the Compact -- we show that we're not powerless over our purchasing."
They are free to buy as much as they want off of eBay, thrift stores and the like, however.

Baldwin also pointed out this Internet system of recycling called Freecycle.

I'd like to think we live like this most of the time. Certainly, when it comes to the kids' clothes and toys we're big on swapping and yard sales. But we do indulge every once in a while.

A recent indulgence came when Austin saw a Star Wars book called Galactic Crisis that looked nice. It was for early readers, but more importantly, I recognized the author so I bought it for him. Yes, it was written by Ryder Windham! Ryder and Ann are still in Providence and I went to a party at their house recently. They're still looking and doing great!

BTW, I have to admit to some confusion over what actually happened in the three Star Wars prequels and Galactic Crisis helped sort that out for me. Thanks, Ryder.


Baldwin said...

Been thinking about this since I read the article. There's another dimension of this idea that sidesteps the nobility and self-discipline. There's also the fact that, if you are smart about finding/swapping for/buying good used stuff, you could actually end up with more material possessions than if you had to buy everything new. Think of the way prices on tech gadgets drop quickly as soon as a newer model comes out. Would it fit the spirit of the Compact if you bought three used iPods, rather than buying one new one?

And your friend Ryder has gotten some cool writing gigs. Does he get to meet with George Lucas? Or does he get briefed by a hologram-bearing protocol droid? He must be the penultimate authority on ANY Star Wars-related trivia question. Wow.

jc said...


Also, what sort of person buys $300 shoes? I mean, the only articles of clothing I've bought in that price range are suits.

There's something quintessentially SF about this, I think, insofar as there seems to be a culture of acquisition for cutting edge tech and stylish goods in the city. Not that there isn't in other places (New York, say) but I feel like I can see it as an observer in SF. Perhaps in Boston the expensive stuff is coded in a way that I don't understand or recognize (i.e. Louis Boston clothes or Shreve Crump and Lowe glasses).

Ryder is pretty cool. I don't know if he's met Lucas but he's been to Skywalker Ranch and got to read the script to the movies before they came out (so that he could write comic adaptations). He also wrote a fun comic for DC a few years ago called Trouble Magnet, which is probably in the 25 cent bin these days.