Planned obsolescence is going to be the end of us all

I recently (as in just now) was in a Twitter about Mason Pearson brushes -- specifically, Heather Spohr wanted to know what made them worth $80.

My response was this: "They're well made and once you buy one you'll never have to buy another. The end."

I just love things that are made to last forever. Unfortunately very few things are made to last these days, and we have planned obsolescence to thank for this. (Thanks a lot, jerks.)

I recently (and rather expensively) was forced to deal with this when our cheap printer ran out of magenta ink and black ink. I needed to print something out so I went to Staples to buy a black ink cartridge. The clerk informed me that the black cartridge would cost me $20. Steep, but whatever. Then she asked me if I needed color cartridges. I told her that the printer was out of magenta, but I don't have to print in color so I'll just take the black thankyouverymuch.

"Well," she said, "the black cartridge won't work if you're low on magenta."

"But I'm just printing black words on white paper. I'll be fine."

"Um, no you won't. The printer will be disabled until you refill all the colors."

Of course, the magenta came packaged with other color cartridges (but not black). My total cost for ink? $97. I think the printer cost $80.

I was livid. And powerless, because there are no alternatives in the world of printers. Pay up, or drive to Kinko's whenever you need to print out a couple of important documents.

And this is why I'm happy to pay a little more (when I can) for things that are made to last. And it must be the reason I love fruitcake.