Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Possession Obsession

I won't deny that I've lost everything I own more than once this lifetime. Other than the couple of guitars that have managed to follow me through the years, I don't really care much for things... I can find pride in who I am and don't generally need huge ego bolstering compliments, nor do I feel the need to put others down in order to prop myself up. Granted, I doubt there have been many people who've known me throughout the years who would have held any great envy of me, my life, or my material possessions other than the occasional envy of who I was dating from time to time (while failing to note the long periods of time I sometime spend in self-imposed exile from the 'dating' scene). But lust is fickle, and that cannot be avoided at all times, especially if it is not your own...

Which makes it odd when I realize that so many people out there seem to justify their existence on the fancy 'things' they can show off about.

The President of the company I work for seems to parade out a new exotic sports car every year in an attempt to feed off of the envy of others. This act makes little sense to me except to point to some personality disorder in which he is unable to take pride in the person he is. It almost seems like a desperate act of somebody who is uncomfortable in their own skin. As if it were a pissing contest over who's stuff had the biggest price tag or cock. When in the end, it is stuff... It isn't a life-changing cataclysm, or world altering concept, or even a friendly gesture of human good-will, it is stuff...

Stuff has no conscience and will not miss you if it is stolen. It doesn't even notice when you have stored it in the basement or garage for years, because it's stuff. This bizarre obsession with stuff which appears to have been birthed sometime in the fifties and fed by 'market research' is ultimately just another form of mass-media brainwashing and it has not made the world a better place. It has made life more stressful as now we get bombarded with all the ads wherein "our life is not happy because we do not own ____" in the time we used to have to spend beating our laundry over a rock in the river. Sure I am glad not to have to strip down to my skimpies and beat my wardrobe on a rock, but I also am not getting the exercise associated with that activity either, so I am not sure that newly found free time is being better spent.

The other problem with stuff is that it's all made to be disposable these days. Crappy Chinese stuff made for Walmart shoppers coming soon to a landfill near you. And now you are slave to that half-broken stuff, because you have to chase down the mechanics and builders and pray for mercy on your wallet as you spend more in maintenance than you did on the thing in the first place. I learned that many years ago, when I ran out of ink for my inkjet printer. Every time I used to run out of ink, a new printer would end up being purchased because it was cheaper than buying the refills.

And in the corporate quest to make stuff cheaper, manufacturing has been outsourced; jobs changed hands, and the factories fell silent. We are now resigned to selling cheap crappy stuff, or fixing cheap crappy stuff, but forget about making stuff at all because we no longer do that here. It's an economists wet dream where we are servants to the service of stuff... We don't often make expensive stuff either.

Yes, I lost all or most of my stuff several years ago. And I have not been in any hurry to replace any of it.


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