The New York Times cut to the heart of false consciousness with its Style section story on the "labeling sensation" that's capturing the nation's youth.
UNTIL recently, Bill Allayaud, who works as a director for the Sierra Club in Sacramento, thought people who checked labels on clothing or toys to make sure they were “Made in the U.S.A.” were everything he was not: flag-waving, protectionist, even a little xenophobic.
But lately, he said, he is becoming one of them.
“Everything I buy now, I look at the label,” said Mr. Allayaud, 56, who explained that the “buy American” movement — long popular among blue-collar union workers and lunch-pail conservatives — no longer seemed so jingoistic, and was actually starting to come into vogue for liberals like himself who never before had a philosophical problem with Japanese cars or French wine.
He said the reasons for his change of heart are many: a desire to buy as many “locally made” products as possible to reduce carbon emissions from transporting them; a worry about toxic goods made in the third world; and a concern that the rising tide of imports will damage the economy and hurt everybody.
So, youth, what's more "internationalist"?
A. Going to every single Brown University "Salsa night".
B. Going on the official "Lost in Translation" tour of Tokyo's hotels.
C. Buying Chinese hula hoops because when you shake your hips at the BBQ, you want to be supporting every 10 year olds' dream of working in a factory for 10 cents an hour. That'll buy 10 cents' worth of dreams!
D. Fighting for fair trade - even if you haven't traveled, don't like sushi, and speak only English - because you realize that most people in every single country are just like you - working for someone else, consuming products that they didn't make that the expect the government to regulate, and living in a warming planet?
C'est la quatrième option, mon camarade. It's nice that hipsters, scenesters, oldsters, blipsters, and other 'sters are realizing that just because the working class likes something doesn't mean you shouldn't, and doesn't make it racist. Matter of fact, supporting a working class agenda just might give us better policies too!