Monday, June 23


My mother sent me this article about the "Hundred Thing Challenge". I am posting this because I tried such a challenge, in some sort of zen phase, three years ago. I had a tidy little list of my things, and was still reducing. But.... then I reverted back to a normal teenager whose only outlet for rewards of the monetary sort was items.

"Things are to be used. People are to be loved." The crazy thing about our consumer culture is that we so often reverse it.
--from David Michael's blog

The thing about things is that they are not simply what they are. When advertising really hooks you it's that they've caught your emotions. We often tie images of ourselves to our items. Brands often appeal to the emotional side, or the ego, the sense of self. Just think - Apple (computers) is creative, Pepsi is young, Mike's Hard Lemonade is hard, Nike is strength and endurance...

Imagine how much less appeal a commercial would have if they simply listed a computer's capabilities, or the features of the running shoe, or the ingredients and flavor in a beverage - without the use of imagery, metaphors, even music that appeals to the right facet of you, the consumer. We buy things because, at the base, we want to be the person that commercial portrays. It's not even a conscious desire (most of the time).

Do I think I have too many items? For sure! Do I think our society is a little too materialistic? Absolutely. But I wonder if it is a natural 'evolution' of society, just one more stage to transcend in the history of humans and the continent. If so, then perhaps we will soon move on to the next thing, the same way art or writing has its ages - (in no particular order) baroque, post-modernism, cubism, art nouveau, psychoanalysis, etc.

I certainly hope that we will move on...

No comments: