Careful. This is a mousetrap.

And I can see that I am one of the mice.

Here is The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. It’s a 20-minute, fast-paced video that explains how we turn the environment into stuff — and then how we get rid of the stuff. And some of the hidden – "externalized" – cost of it all.

I admire the simple design of this presentation and think the overall message is valid. Still, I faced some obstacles while watching it:

It’s presented in a friendly voice, but it’s disturbing. It works like satire, trapping the viewer.

It might offend your politics. For me, that happened when Annie asks, "Isn’t the government supposed to take care of us?" I’m all for being taken care of, but even I don’t think that’s the government’s promise. (But let’s not ignore Annie’s entire message because of a few individual words. When I feel insulted, I remember how Robert Frost defined being educated.)

It might arouse your healthy skepticism. That’s good.

If you are like me, it will certainly catch you in the mousetrap.

Thanks to our teacher and neighbor, Inbar Kerper-Saranovitz, for bringing this story to my attention.