Worn as Toast: A Simple Tale of Modern Consumerism

Worn as Toast: A Simple Tale of Modern
Russel Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, The

Remember the toasters of old? You know, those old stainless steel
1940s Toastmasters. Built to last decades. Today’s models, on the
other hand, barely last a year before their plastic parts begin to
break and their microchips go on the fritz. In a humorous article
in the British magazine The Ecologist, investigative
reporters Mokhiber and Weissman — who returned five broken
toasters to WilliamsSonoma in just six years — dig deep to find
out what went wrong. ‘Unfortunately, we live in a more disposable
society,’ says a WilliamsSonoma spokeswoman. ‘If you don’t want to
clean the crumbs out of your toaster, you can just get rid of it
and buy a new one.’ Toastmaster also makes a heavy duty toaster,
they write, but it’s built in Germany by Bosch Siemens, designed by
Porsche, and sells for $225. ‘The decline of the reliable,
reasonably priced toaster is symbolic of what’s gone wrong with
modern society — shoddy products, disposable society, planned
obsolescence, high tech but no respect. Shade control in, quality
out.’ — Leif Utne
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