What’s happened to socks? Textiles, in general? A personal anecdote on designed obsolescence, disposability

If you’ve been alive a few decades, and you’ve done any amount of walking, running, or working in an office, you will have undoubtedly purchased many pair of socks and shoes by now, on top of T-shirts or undershirts, pants, dress shirts, skirts, etc. Many are basically disposable objects, are they not?

Socks generally wear out in patterns that reflect how you walk, such as pronation or supination, favoring, heel-walking, etc, and can of course become damaged from improperly fitting shoes or just heavy walking. But lately, something has changed. What is it?

This Etsy blog delves into the exploitative changes made in the textile and garment industries from the 1950s to today, and highlights some of the great social and cultural shifts that led people to falling into this trap, instead of halting it. The following block of text neatly sums up this transition.

“As clothes have become cheaper, our clothing consumption has gone through the roof. In 1930, the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits. Today, we each buy more than 60 pieces of new clothing on average per year.

Our closets are larger and more stuffed than ever, as we’ve traded quality and style for low prices and trend-chasing. In the face of these irresistible deals, our total spending on clothing has actually increased, from $7.82 billion spent on apparel in 1950 to $375 billion today.

And the discounters are reaping the rewards. According to the latest Standard & Poor’s Industry Survey, the average American consumer is primarily looking for value with an impulse-buy standard of quality when they purchase clothing. As a result, H&M, Zara, and Wal-Mart — all discounters who sell low-quality clothing — are now the most powerful clothing brands in America.”


Something has changed in textiles in the last 80, not to mention the last 25 years that I am complaining about. This began a generation ago. I wonder what it is?

In the early 1990s, I bought many socks. Brands include Hanes, Fruit of Loom, Adidas, North Face, etc. The socks I bought in the 1990s lasted until 2008-2010, despite the fact that I:

  1. Rode a skateboard wearing those socks, did street skating.
  2. Walked/skated EVERYWHERE unless I was lucky enough to score a ride. I would walk 10, 20 miles sometimes, all day, depending, including trails and camps.
  3. Because I was a filthy teenager, I would sometimes wear them 2 days in a row. 🤢

Somehow, many of the heavily-used socks I bought throughout the 90s, lasted me all the way into the mid/late 2000s. They became discolored, some of them became more brittle over time, and eventually, 15ish years after I bought them, they popped some holes or tears and had to go in the trash.

As a young adult on a small budget in a full-time single parenting situation, I needed to get more socks, and socks that were suitable for the new career I was launching! So off I went to Macys, Costco, PayLess, and Express Men’s(Seasonal box sales), Old Navy, etc, to find good bags of working-person socks. By then, I had given up skateboarding, and was walking, jogging, and riding a bike.

A couple years later, roughly 2006, I noticed a couple – but not all – of the cheaper socks I had picked up had holes. I expected that was just a fluke, and replaced them. In 2008-2009, I noticed a few more socks were busting through within only a few years of use, and I started trying different shoe types, sock types (thicker, thinner, fitted, brands, etc) to try to troubleshoot the problem. I had become a runner by then, and my runs were 2-16 miles a few times a week, always changing shoes & socks after work, before the run. By 2010-2012, only a few pair of the original (1995-98) Hanes and other brands were still ok, but MOST other socks bought more recently were already in the trash, filled with giant holes.

Same was true with various T-shirts I had, including skateboard and satirical shirts I picked up as a teenager. Two Tees in particular that I still wear to this day were bought in the 90s, a ‘Doctor Evil'(Austin Powers!) shirt from 1997, and a custom Hanes Tee that says “I eat glue” from 1995ish. These are 24 year, and 26 year old Tshirts! Their armpits are lightly discolored, and they may finally rip through a few holes today, in 2021.

Throughout the whole time (2003-2021), I was more and more rapidly replacing socks. For a few of those years, I chalked it up to the facts that I worked or ran on my feet all day, however… throughout all those sock-destroying activities, the old socks from the 90s continued to last. At the same time the new custom Tees(Cafe Press, etc) appear to be 20 years old after less than 2, regardless of delicate handling in washer(cold, low) and drier, sometimes even line-drying them to save dryer wear/tear.

Looking back, I have purchased probably 10 bags of new socks from various brands over the last 5 years alone, and today… because of COVID and a few other developments in our lives that I’ll leave for another post, we are extremely sedentary and have been for much of the last 5 years. Despite the sedentary lifestyle and the purchase of a car, leading to a situation where most of our walking is to/from carpeted rooms in our house, in between sitting for hours, the socks… have begun to wear through into holes (or entire ‘rubbed off’ sections of sock) far faster than ever before. I’ve purchased bags of socks, worn them 1-2 times, sitting or barely walking the whole time, and there are holes in a few weeks in some cases.

My experience with buying, wearing, and thinking about the durability of clothing and textiles began a long time ago, as my family and I have always had a tight budget where we needed to make sure clothing items lasted, and my analysis over time shows me the THREADCOUNT and overall durability of socks, tees, and underwear/boxers, and many clothing textiles has been radically reduced, leading to even MORE rapid cycles of clothing “Fast Fashion” and wardrobe replacement, and even more environmental and ecological problems around the earth.

Are there durable textiles out there, or durable goods? Sure, but the capitalists have elevated the cost of those more durable items to a place where only affluent people can really buy them regularly, leading to a problem where most budget-focused workers – the majority of us – buy the cheap, disposable, toxic, unhealthy crap. And we don’t even become aware of this until we have years of retail experience and see for ourselves the truth of what capitalism brings, cycle after cycle, generation after generation.

Seasonal Fashion, and generally ‘Fast Fashion’, is a trap that you should avoid if you take the global problems we all face seriously, including ecosystem collapse and warming, classism and inequality, and the major problem of outsourced jobs in the US.

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly – for the 29th consecutive year – to remove sanctions against Cuba. Who stopped them?

That would be the United States and Israel, 2 small, rich states who have or are currently slaughtering indigenous populations, who somehow have power over the 184 countries and their billions-strong populations who voted to END the sanctions and embargo against Cuba.

One hundred eighty four countries… voted to end sanctions.

What is the purpose of the United Nations, then, but to allow the US and its powerful allies to create the illusion that the U.N. wants want they want? The illusion of consensus, which in reality is anything but?

The US is KEEPING Cuba impoverished and struggling INTENTIONALLY, against the will of much of the world, SO THAT it can then point at the struggling Cubans and say, as it has repeatedly, “Ah HAH! Socialism bad. See how they struggle?” Americans who refuse to see this basic truth about Cuba uphold and perpetuate imperialism, human rights violations, and war crimes, which is necessarily what these actions against Cuba represent.

Communists, trying to end classism, designed inequality and false scarcity, environmental catastrophe, and wars for profit, need everyone to participate. Capitalists?

Capitalists: “No socialism, ever! Over my dead body!”

>Millions die over 100 years because of unnecessary wars & intentional destabilization of entire nations, sanctions, embargoes, ecosystem destruction & poisoning by industry, classism and inequality leading to both malnutrition and obesity depending on where you look.
>Loss of local jobs and major unemployment, giant unhoused populations due to profit-seeking races to the bottom and a cold, inhumane, classist culture that blames unhoused for their plight.
>lack of public infrastructure because of deregulation and privatization, mass excess death during viral outbreaks due to INTENTIONAL lack of preparation, food deserts, reduced happiness & longevity for most people. Millions of homes and properties kept EMPTY, right next to unhoused camps, so that their landlords can maintain high values.
>utilities, including electrical, sewer, water, trash, begin to fail and experience outages and delays in the “richest country in the world”, meanwhile many Americans think that’s all exclusive to socialism because that’s what they’ve been taught, and the country they live in makes SURE socialist states have a hard time, validating the propaganda.

Communists, having a revolution, taking the above problems seriously before the earth loses its ability to support life and we all die, imprisons or kills a capitalist, who just said “over my dead body! NO SOCIALISM, EVER!” and fought the communists, refusing to accept the democratic conclusion of their countrymen.

Capitalists, speaking from inside a country that murders minorities and activists intentionally, counters all attempts at systemic change using state resources, claims minimum wage increase is communism: “You see!!!!!! HITLER AND STALIN WERE THE SAME! Communists and Nazis are the same! YOU KILLED SOMEONE!”

Cuban USAID-connected “protestors”, also wearing MAGA hats and waving American flags–

–want us to think that the country that has literally committed human rights violations and war crimes against them for over 50 years in order to starve & destabilize them, then push them to overthrow their authentic government and cultural tradition, is the country to come SAVE them from the human rights violations caused by that country. The US has been hard at work undermining Cuban democracy for some time now, and has built armies of fake social media accounts over a decade ago to get that unrest started. It was taking too long, and the Cuban people have resisted it for 50+ years.


If you watched the Hong Kong “pro-democracy protests”, you saw similar themes, including MAGA flags, ‘pepe the frog/KEK’ flags, “Save us Trump” flags with American tanks, etc. All of these protests were grotesquely conflated with the George Floyd protests and African American civil rights by the disgusting US media. Gee wiz, I wonder what really *is* going on in Hong Kong?

Marco Rubio – a Trumpist fascist – also has an interest in Cuba, and claims a mass exodus to the US is coming. Local Florida news, like many national news outlets, says “The people of Cuba are starving, they’re in need of medicine, they’re in need of international help”, and imperialist propaganda such as “We need intervention from the federal government of some form or fashion, whether it’s food, medicine, or militarily.”

Meanwhile the COVID recovery and vaccination situation in Cuba actually looks like this, published by the World Health Organization. Here is a full report, a 1.7MB PDF, by the WHO titled “Cuban experience with local production of medicines, technology transfer and improving access to health“. This clarifies and counters any media or current state propaganda in the US or west, to do with “how the Cuban people desperately need access to medicine, vaccines, etc/they are being denied by their dictatorship government.”, which are some of the main assertions being made by those who support the “protestors” there today.

USAID — which receives billions from the US State Department each year to bring “development” to poor countries (it stands for United States Agency for International Development), works tirelessly to “counter violent extremism” around the world, and of course selects targets defined by the Pentagon to run those counter-terrorism propaganda operations against. For nearly seventy years, the US has built an apparatus with which to literally starve the Cuban people into overthrowing their state in favor of pro-American, pro-Capitalist leaders, and USAID and other Christian missionary and charity organizations are involved.

Unless you are fully aware of what the US has done to CAUSE the situation in Cuba, you should not formulate an opinion about the Cuban unrest today. These people are free, they do not want American style capitalism and all the problems it brings, and they have stood strong and proud for 70 years in the face of all this. LEAVE CUBA ALONE, IMPERIALIST SCUM!

I was too busy being stoned, playing video games and watching movies with my family to make a 4th of July post

But I couldn’t let such a great opportunity to be honest about the authentic American experience to pass without *any* commentary, so I’ll post a little update to last year’s July 4th rant. I’m sure the new group of NextDoor stalkers who have attached themselves to my account were waiting on pins and needles! 😂

This year, like last year and every year in my memory before it, people burned their houses down, hundreds were shot, killed, maimed in accidents, gigantic illegal explosions were set off until wee hours of the night, drunken male abusers abused their female victims, bigots abused their ideological victims, and lives and families were ruined in the name of a patriotic holiday that was borne of a false revolution powered by the limbs and lives of the poor, just like all our wars since.

In short? Another deadly, crap patriotic holiday come and gone, and we are still cleaning the wreckage today.

This of course all makes sense in America because Americans haven’t, in adequate numbers, cared enough about the ongoing massive gun violence epidemic that happens every day in every state in the country, nor do they care enough about our murderous, environmentally devastating foreign policy and all it has wrought, and some are just *barely* beginning to understand climate change, so why, really, would *these* Americans have any reason to create better, less dangerous traditions, maybe involving less fire and explosives danger? They are Large and in Charge, and they give no fucks about who gets upset, so why change anything? These people are so Ultra-Patriotic they even shot themselves with bullets fired into the air, they were so filled with the spirit of Uncle Sam!

In addition to another 5 days and nights of random explosions (even though its illegal to do this on any night but the 4th in our tinderbox environment), the neighborhoods that had residents who could afford to be nuisances during this period made up the bulk of the noise and the trash left in the streets the following days. There were exploded and unexploded fireworks everywhere, on everyone’s property, on the rooves of so many houses, whether or not those families participated. Public parks, our streets, etc, all filled with trash left by patriots, who think its patriotic to make low wage workers clean up the litter they were too lazy to clean up themselves.

Meanwhile Joe Biden is a perfect George Bush republican for the GOP, has shot down ANY progressive changes to anything that matters for any struggling worker, has continued many Trump policies including ICE, labor, healthcare, tax, military, etc, and has given police MORE money, and the DoD MORE money — but modern GOP voters are all basically insane, meth-addicted baby Hitlers who see Biden as a communist, and the only way they will get what they truly want is if an actual fascist dictator steals an election by claiming all other votes were fraudulent.

We’ve arrived, America.

At the end of the day, my family and I took the opportunity to educate our growing children about what, exactly, the scary noise outside means, why a small percentage of the neighbors have giant American flags on their properties and giant vehicles, and what the specific timing of all it means, along with some fun movies, snacks, and games.

The day America begins to become worthy of our patriotism, we will let everyone know, but as far as it stands now, we shouldn’t celebrate any patriotic, governmental holiday of any kind until this country comes to terms with what it is, and tries to *do better*. No reason to offer unconditional patriotism to something this dysfunctional and bad for the global environments, and the demands by *these* “patriots” to do so is the creeping effects of totalitarian fascism inside our nation. They do not care, or they appreciate the current military-oligarchy in which we live, and they will drag every one of us down with them if they aren’t stopped. Fight!

Capitalism’s inevitable, unavoidable comorbidities are fascism & propaganda, oligarchy & hegemony, designed inequality & classism, environmental devastation and ecosystem-failure, and endless world wars.

“BotSentinel dotcom”, which is another online tool in the toolbox of the fascists, is like bringing 3rd party, Nextdoor-style moderation to Twitter. Sounds good?

You may or may not have heard about the latest easily-abused tool in “online spam / hate speech”, BotSentinel dotcom, but if you have encountered the site you likely know that its primary stated purpose (it’s in the name, duh) is to stop the bots. You know, the bots — the accounts who say things you disagree with politically & ideologically, making you want to silence them and have their accounts taken away. “Bots.” (for context: you called them “trolls” and “Russian agents”, before, but that humanized them too much so now we do “Bots”, ok.)

If you peruse the BotSentinel front page, you find a dashboard with various information including a scrolling display of recently analyzed accounts and links to app versions of their site, and in the upper-right corner you will see the mysterious, vaguely threatening statement “More than just bots…”

The 4 categories on the the BS front page contain labels to describe the kinds of accounts who fall into each, such as “normal”, “satisfactory”, “disruptive”, and “problematic”. Each of those categories contains numbers which show how many of each kind of account has been acted upon, such as “100,000 deactivated / suspended” or “100 added”.

Oddly, and instantly counter to the goals for the site – stopping bots with problematic behaviors – you will notice that BotSentinel’s own data shows the majority of accounts that have been targeted and then subsequently suspended or deactivated… do not even fall into their “disruptive” or “problematic” categories. If you count them, you find that “normal” and “satisfactory” accounts…. add up to a total of about 190,000 deactivations & suspensions, and that “disruptive” and “problematic” accounts total about 160,000, with claims of anywhere from 150 to 800 new accounts added *per day*.

According to numerous Twitter users whom I have discussed this with today and yesterday, it appears that, as usual, folks on the left or remotely on the left are being targeted with this tool. The site even offers to set you up with “auto block”, so their list of potentially falsely reported accounts can be automatically blocked so you don’t ever have to see them.

Does the page also block right-wing accounts? Yes it does, which is how the makers of the site can make the ‘fair and balanced’ claim, meanwhile white supremacist grifters and truly hateful people are equated with, and tossed into the same censorship bucket as, indigenous activists, atheists, feminists, trans and LGBTQ folk, autistic folks, of course socialists and critics of the US, pro-Palestine accounts, and really anyone who dares the ire of the gleeful, authoritarian censorship fans who frequent the page.

As a leftist, always make sure you have a few backup accounts. Don’t fall victim to online mob-censorship and lose your voice. Keep it ever-present, and loud!

Your religion is nothing more than an overgrown cult with political power

Every major religion started out as a cult, and during its early years would have gone through conflict with established traditional spirituality and superstition. The people of the day would have started out by calling every new religion “a false religion/evil cult” until they had no choice…

Over time some cults gained large numbers of followers and became powerful, which of course made them useful to kings, emperors, and all manner of frauds and unelected totalitarian rulers of the day. King James was one of those powerful rulers, who saw the value in adapting the Christian book of mythology – “The Bible” – into one which served his regime’s goals more than the original texts, which had already been translated and interpreted by numerous societies by then.

Your religion is nothing more than a cult that became useful for the rich, who demanded that cult become the official cult of the time and place. All Abrahamic religions are precisely this — cults that became powerful enough to take political power and label other cults “cults”.

Nextdoor dotcom – real-estate value manipulation, fake local politics, scammers, racism, stalking/harassing of unhoused, slander, Parler gateway, etc

I don’t plan to spend a whole lot more time or space discussing the stalker/vigilante/fascist neighborhood surveillance network ‘Nextdoor’, but thought I would post something of a summary analysis about what I’ve learned and what I feel others should be aware of about this drama and chaos-filled “social” network, which has already been associated with racial profiling, neighborhood conflict, and violence.

This will be a summary of issues I have personally seen on Nextdoor between at least 2 cities, and I will include links to articles with examples and commentary that support my own analysis and experience. Do you have similar experiences on Nextdoor or other vigilante apps?

Nextdoor enables racially motivated vigilantism, provides a platform for organized, 1900’s-style misrepresentation of Blacks and lynching of targets defined by neighborhood mobs. The network has already taken criticism for this. Just before the Jan 6 attempted insurrection, users posted “AntiFa and BLM are coming to our neighborhoods!”

Black Lives Matter meets a resounding “All Lives Matter” on Nextdoor, and BLM is widely condemned by network moderators and users. Posts in support of BLM were/are removed. Nextdoor itself offered a PR statement claiming they support BLM and oppose racism, but this led to a large, angry *backlash* from Nextdoor moderators, who resoundingly DO NOT support BLM.

Moderators, known as ‘Neighborhood Leads’, become moderators simply by being the first users to create a ‘neighborhood group’ and can control that neighborhood the way they please with little to no company oversight. Mind you, these Neighborhood Leads are *unpaid moderators* who do this because…. they enjoy it, or they benefit from it personally or financially somehow. ND has had to change its policies and roll out a new tool…. to *stop users* from racially profiling blacks, hispanics, and other dark-skinned folks. If you are on the network today, you can see that their changes have had no effect on the problem whatsoever, and have just pushed the fascists to include more additional details about black people when stalking them for no reason.

Nextdoor feeds the pre-primed, over-paranoid Fox News crowd, and is slowly becoming a replacement for “Local News” where the news focuses heavily on violence, gang activity, unhoused people, or “unusual” events-

Local news, which has shifted toward violence, murder, and criminality in the last 50 years despite crime overall dropping in that same time period, is slowly being replaced by Nextdoor in terms of the role they play in stirring up paranoid, typically 55 and older, white, Judeo-Christian Americans.

As neighborhoods become more paranoid, certain individuals become more stigmatized, users of ND begin to call the police more often, even in neighborhoods with low crime. If you speak against this propaganda-driven hysteria, these folks will pivot from attacking a stranger to attacking *you*, claiming that you might also be suspicious, you might be related to the criminal they are talking about, etc.

Nextdoor claims to have a “no politics or racism” rule, but moderators and established users promote right-wing, ‘Q-Anon’ Trumpist politics and gang up on users who post other politics. ND waited until after the Jan 6 insurrection attempt to classify ‘Q-anon’ as a hate group and rampant racism, bigotry, and right-wing ideology still exist-

On Nextdoor, it is extremely common to find right-wing, conservative talking points and politics, including proselytization and religious commentary, promotion of right-wing politicians, etc, but if you advocate anything even remotely left-leaning(they would call you a “liberal”), if you offer humane, science and evidence-based solutions for handling unhoused or mentally ill folks, or if you offer solutions that don’t involve using police actions, you are engaging in “un-neighborly behavior” and can be censored or blocked arbitrarily by a mob of your neighbors.

This experience on Nextdoor is not rare nor unique, and my own experience is strikingly similar to many of the negative posts, articles, and comments you can find anywhere about the company. A brief Google search for “Nextdoor violence” or “vigilantism” should provide dozens of examples.

This man decided to sue Nextdoor because ND has begun working with law enforcement and local government at an official level, yet allowed his account to be blocked and his voice to be removed from local politics via bullying. He argues that the “public square” is online, and that his ability to speak and engage in that public space have been restricted. I tend to agree with his point of view.

“Our entire country—and California, and the Bay Area specifically—we’re at a 40-year historic low for violent crime … and yet people are walking around like we’re living in the most violent place in the world,” Hofer told CityLab. “These vendors are doing a really great job of creating a sense of fear.”

Commercial interests promote security and surveillance systems (Ring, Sentinel, etc) on Nextdoor, users share and compare their doorbell and home surveillance videos to try to “ID” random people they see in their towns, enhancing the sense of fear and danger, and the identities of the “suspects” reported on ND are typically unknown, leading to vague, unqualified associations made between known and unknown people.

Realtors and house-flippers also run amok on ND, showing up under many city government communications to attack officials as “not tough enough on crime” or “spending too much money/we need more BUSINESS FRIENDLY leaders”, etc, in order to create political momentum toward more right-wing officials, more cops, less humanism.

Nextdoor, and apps like it (Citizen, Neighbor, etc) are a relatively new, tech-driven phenomenon, and have surged into greater popularity during the covid19 lockdowns. In every neighborhood where ND creates a local group, paranoia, fighting, and frivolous police reports go through the roof, and this is something everyone in every community should be aware of. These networks, as they stand today, are tools of fascists, grifters, and frauds, they enable and platform the worst people among us, and they *will* lead to greater violence and disharmony in America.


Do you really believe UFO sightings experienced a legitimate uptick during the fascist Trump administration, and now?

So the state has spent an unusual amount of time over the last 4 years revealing “sensational” mysteries, such as UFOs at Area51, UFO sightings by the Air Force, gravity manipulation tech, etc, and what has been the conclusion of each press release? What came of these bizarre statements made to the media?

Nothing. There is nothing at Area51, and there has been no real or confirmed sighting of any UFO, and yet certain media outlets continue to receive ‘tips’ from certain government officials – usually military – about more and more UFO sightings.

Americans: it’s time to be smarter than this. Long past time. When this state wants to distract you, what are some of the ways it distracts you? Why does the state distract you? Anything to do with Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Iran, China, half of South America, the US economy, our growing social unrest and ongoing repression of protests by militarized goons, the massive worsening of inequality and all things related from coast to coast — while we’ve all been looted in the *trillions* by a fascist, capitalist oligarchy?

Heh. MaYbe tHe uFOs aRe REAL THIS TIME!!