Anil on the Diamond Industry

…they’re selling, along with war and market dominance, dysfunction. Want your materialistic, easily-misled wife to stop being such a frigid bitch? Buy her a diamond! Did your husband decide to increase your consumer debt in order to buy you a pair of earrings that were mined at gunpoint by children in Africa? Reward him with grudging sex and a temporary cessation of your relentless nagging! {seriously read the whole thing}

{The rest here is mostly notes-to-self.} Really good stuff. {Also recently read all the stuff about Santa (or was it Rudolph) being an invention of the coca-cola company.} How much of our culture these days was created by marketers? {It’s more than just a last decade thing (although it has admittedly been worse in the last couple).} I think one of the major problems with our modern society/culture is that so much of it is originally comes from an inauthentic place. Marketing is not just “getting the word out,” it is manipulation; and anything that uses manipulation is inauthentic at its root. But now many of those things are entrenched in our culture, and even new, authentic culture is being created re-using that old, inauthentic culture. Redemption through authenicity?

This from some of the comments I read (didn’t read them all):

When my intelligent and beautiful fiancee and I decided on an engagement ring, we explicitly chose a non-diamond ring due to the conflict diamond fiasco. That and DeBeers, which are mostly one in the same.

But did you know that diamonds weren’t considered “standard issue” for engaged women until the 1950s? DeBeers sent representatives, smartly, into public schools and ‘educated’ the idea into kids. That meant that every generation from then on would associate diamonds with love and “forever”, even though there are many many stones that will outlast diamonds.

I hate their ad campaigns, too. Targeting brainless, uncreative men. Swell - there’s certainly not enough targeted at that demographic.

Posted by: Paul on January 20, 2003 05:21 PM

about ten years ago there was a fascinating 6 hour frontline series on diamonds. the debeers family is pretty evil. at the time i viewed the documentary, they couldn’t travel to the united states because of all of the warrants out for them.

the debeers were even trying to stop/regulate the production of synthetic diamonds!

also, remember the tennis bracelet? the debeers had just purchased a newly found source of russian diamonds. the problem was, the diamonds were too small, so they had to invent a way to market them.

diamond engagement rings were never a tradition. the debeers paid movie producers to start including scenes with a man on one knee proposing with a diamond ring. diamonds are the original product placement.

we are such pawns, heh.

i understand what you mean by “conflict free” diamonds, but if you know the history of debeers in south africa, there really aren’t any conflict free diamonds unless they were never owned or distributed by that family/corporation. that pretty much leaves you with novelty american diamonds found on the ground in arkansas.

Posted by: denise on January 20, 2003 05:57</i>