Saturday, October 15, 2011


In the 50s and 60s
it was
the size of the car
the model of the car
the newness of the car;
it was
the size of the house
the furnishings of the house
like the magazines/none
of that old-fashioned stuff);
it was
the clothes and style
like Hepburn (Audrey)
like Kennedy (Jackie)
and wanting everyone
to know

In the 00s and the 10s
it is
the voltage of the car,
it is
the greenness of the house,
solarized and efficiency
it is
clothes and style
like everyone
like no one
it is
the organic-ness of the food
the localness of the food
the rawness of the milk
and wanting everyone
to know.

Then it was
conspicuous consumption
now it is
conspicuous virtue

Over at dVerse Poets, the Poetics prompt is “taboo” – to write a poem about a subject that is taboo, politically incorrect, and/or more than likely to offend some significant part of the population. To see more “taboo” poems, please visit dVerse Poets.


Anonymous said...

So what's changed, but everything unimportant? Great parallel and a very wise observation. Big car, big virtue - size has always been everything, culture being nothing but worship of surfeit. - Brendan

Claudia said...

i've just recently talked about this with my boss and we both thought that cars have lost a bit of their importance in the game - they were partly substituted by technical gadgets like smartphones, computers etc.
so the variables change but the game stays the same...

Brian Miller said...

we consume our tastes have just changed a bit...information is money these days and being up to date on everyone in our voyeuristic society of virtual friends...

Sheila said...

no matter what the decade - more is better or so that is what we are told to believe. For me, more is complicated and painful, but I don't know much. Nice spin on this prompt. I like it a lot.

Imperfectly_Leah_Too said...

Every era brings a new status to live by. good write on the subject

Mary said...

Glynn, you have captured the differences in the decades very well. I wonder what will be "in" in the 2020's. so hard to predict. Who would have been able to predict 20 years ago just what popular takes would be today?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brian, we aren't willing to give things up, so we use energy and resources to figure out how to use tings with less guilt.

Anonymous said...

Yes, well, in the end, isn't a lot of it about hypocrisy!? Good take on prompt and really interesting.

JofIndia said...

Maybe conspicuous virtue has never been out of fashion. What constitutes that "virtue" is the only variable.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

I love this poem. "Conspicuous virtue" guess that means we try not to get caught buying fritos at the vending machine : ) Ok so I did feel a great sense of pride when someone looked in my shopping cart and said, "it all looks so healthy, I feel like a slob." And... of course pride goes before destruction- my husband grabbed the chocolate chip cookies it wasn't me (fingers crossed)!

Unknown said...

We do find ways to be certain we are just not enough. Sometimes I want to run away from it all, if I'm honest. I suppose the trick is to drown out the voices and live true to what you believe and know :)

Beachanny said...

I like all these comments - this has been the ride of my life. I remember when I first heard the word "down size". It didn't even make sense to me. Well done.

Sharon Rose Thomas said...

Smaller cars, bigger tags, organic foods, great life? Where is it?

Well written and enjoyed reading here. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

what insight... loved the comparison... great

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Well crafted write of all that is deemed important - conspicous virtue - when in reality impressing others is not important at all.

Anna :o]

Anonymous said...

Some things never change. It's all about appearances - just what those appearances are acceptable changes. In Biblical times it was priests with their phylacteries and who they spent time with. Excellent poem. Peace, Linda