"Austere Times? Perfect". I giggled when I read this one and wondered if I should catalogue it in the "Americans are strange" department, right along side the "Japanese are strange" articles that have been the rage for so many years, [not with me, I should add]. At least it is not as extreme as another NY Times article I stumbled across the other month about reacquiring the skills of growing your own grain etc, processing it and then making/baking your own food (link lost, I will add it as soon as I stumble across it again).
The strange bit [and do I need to add, of course?] was the belief that excessive consumption was ever, somehow, appropriate.
Some classic quotes:
“I’m enjoying this,” said Becky Martin, 52, who has cut up her 10 credit
cards, borrows movies from the library instead of renting them, and grows her
own fruits and vegetables — even though her family is comfortable.
Kellee Sikes, 37, a consultant in Kirkwood, Mo., no
longer uses paper napkins. Ms. Sikes uses organic cloth ones until they get
threadbare and then uses them as cleaning rags. When they are no longer useful,
she puts them in the in-ground waste composter in the backyard.