Friday, October 13, 2006

The character flaw of shoppers

"What we collectively choose to buy, or not to buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet."

Some time last year, during a shameful shopping binge, I decided to use my GAP credit card. When the salesperson handed me my receipt, it showed that my last purchase on the GAP card had been on September 12, 2001. The day after 9/11 and I was shopping at GAP. I wanted to go home and shower with Clorox, I felt so crappy about my past choices and behavior. But wasn't it me that always joked about how I would "singlehandedly keep the American economy going strong"? While I still feel my penchant for shopping and acquiring material goods is a serious character flaw, it seems that others have found a positive spin.

Bono and Bobby Shriver got together to start (PRODUCT) RED, a group that markets products to shopaholics in the first world, so that we can continue our rampant consumerism and at the same time wipe out AIDS in Africa. I'm not complaining - I think it's a fantastic idea, and the campaign has already raised millions to get medicines and testing to those that need it the most. 70% of cases of HIV/AIDS are in Africa. That's a crime. So click on the icon above and learn more - GAP has an especially cool line with some shirts made from 100% organic cotton grown in Africa. I can guarantee I'll be using my GAP card to pick up some new stuff.

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