More on the thread of consumption, I came across this fascinating blog, Bonfire of the Brands, on brands and brand obsession by Neil Boorman, who plans to burn every branded object he owns and publish a book on it:
Bonfire Of The Brands is a book by Neil Boorman to be published in 2007 by Canongate. A label-obsessed journalist and music promoter, Neil is going to burn all his branded goods in an attempt to re-evaluate his lifestyle. The burning date has been set for 26.08.06. This blog is a diary of his journey towards a brand-free lifestyle.Check out his interesting observations about the pervasiveness of brands and brand consciousness in his consumption habits, and shopping and retail generally. He also has media reports on the ugly side of brand-products: the workers who make the things many of us love (to buy), and the deplorable condiditons they work under, such as this Daily Mirror report on the conditions of workers who make Apple's iPods in China.
[Photo by David Coates, from Pictures of Walls; both links via July is not friendly society newsletter]