Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We are all hoarders at heart.

A&E network is launching a new reality show called Hoarders. The trailer is an intriguing look at “hoarding” taken to the extreme. It's extrodinary look at "consumerism" at the extreme.

This week, my wife and I returned from a summer away.

We looked at our life’s collection (accumulation) of junk in a different way. What would an outsider view as of lasting value in our spaces?My wife and I have plenty of "stuff" we need to shed, so that those we leave behind others don' have to do the shedding. (We don’t plan on going any time soon, but its good to get an early start on any journey.

My sisters tell great stories of dispensing with my parents stuff in a forty foot dumpster. My wife dispensed with a lot of her parents stuff by having a contest called "stump the chump". The "good helper" relatives and friends would look at an object from the attic, they would try figure out what it was? or what it had done?. After making the best guess they put the object by the side of the road with a "free” sign and guess how long it would last before someone would drive by and pick it up. Try this when you are cleaning out the garage or basement. Pretty soon, complete strangers will be stopping by to help you get rid of your junk.

Don’t get me wrong, because my wife and I are "loaves and fishes" people. (the more you give away the more you get in return,) we have been forced to be brutal about dispensing with the unnecessary, trying to focus on "things" with intrinsic beauty that will find at least a single "new" life after we have moved on to some other plane.

Another helpful thing is that we have packed up and moved over twenty times in thirty two years of marriage. When all your stuff needs to fit in a Uhaul truck, you make good choices of what is necessary and valuable and what is just junk.

I am sitting in my new office at work. It’s a complete shambles with the detritus of a lifetime of work, absurd plastic awards and plaques, pictures of things I have worked on and hundreds of books (none rare) and a cascade of business training crumbs. There is a faded copy of my master thesis about a topic that is obsolete today. That's going in the paper recycle bin: a copy is in the library at the University of Missouri if I ever need it.

The crappy awards from defunct companies and from groups I can't even remember-in the recycle bin if there is any post-consumerism possibility.

There is hope for me. After the office let’s tackle one of the garages.

PS: TIPS for non-pathological hoarders.

Pack things in boxes, seal the boxes. If in six month you can't remember what’s in the box, throw it away without opening it. Chances are you won't miss anything.

Move often. And to smaller and smaller homes.

Buy a car with a smaller storage trunk or hatchback.

When promoted, throw away everything from your past work that will NOT enhance your career. Trust me, the cheesy award plaque from when you worked in the mailroom as an intern will not enhance your chances for the next VP slot.

Throw away your spouses “stuff” when they aren't watching. Apologize and buy something nicer to replace it, if you get caught.

1 comment:

  1. In response to your post on consumerism :

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

    "Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

    These are figures of "Ecocide".
    These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
    These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
    These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".

    Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

    Only after the last tree has been cut down,
    Only after the last river has been poisoned,
    Only after the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

    Industrial Society has been spreading blatant lies over the years.

    "Green Industry", "Green Technology", "Ethical Consumerism", "Sustainable Development".

    These are contradictory terms – these are oxymorons.

    Industrialization can never be green – it is impossible.

    You cannot save a person after you have killed him.
    You cannot save ecosystems after you have killed them for making consumer goods.

    When we make consumer goods we kill Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land - directly or indirectly.

    Industrial Society destroys ecosystems - all Industrial Societies destroy ecosystems.

    It hardly matters whether it is "Capitalist Industrial Society" - "Communist Industrial Society" - or "Socialist Industrial Society".

    Industrial Society destroys ecosystems at every stage of its functioning - when consumer goods are produced - when consumer goods are used - when consumer goods are discarded/ recycled.

    Raw material for industry is obtained by cutting up Forests. It is extracted by mining/ digging up the earth. It comes by destroying/ killing Trees, Animals and Land.

    Industries/ Factories use Water. The water that comes out of Factories is contaminated with hundreds of toxic chemicals. What to speak of Rivers - entire Oceans have been polluted. Industry kills Water.

    Industries/ Factories burn millions of tonnes of fuel - and when raw material is melted/ heated up, hundreds of toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere. Industry kills Air.

    Industrial Society has covered millions of square miles of land with cement and concrete. Industry kills Land.

    When consumer goods are discarded/ thrown away in landfills it again leads to destruction of ecosystems.

    When consumer goods are recycled, hundreds of toxic chemicals are released into air, water and land.

    Consumer goods are sold/ marketed through a network of millions of kilometers of rail / road network and shipping routes which causes destruction of all ecosystems that come in the way.

    We have limited resources/ ecosystems on earth which is just 40,000 km in circumference.

    If we destroy ecosystems for fewer things [food, clothing, shelter] the ecosystems will last longer.

    If we destroy ecosystems for more things [consumer goods] the ecosystems will finish much sooner.

    The fewer things we make the more sustainable we are.

    This is common sense - plain common sense - which the so called smart, intelligent, advanced, civilized and developed Industrial Society does not possess.

    The collapse has already happened for millions of other species – most of them have been decimated.

    Very soon it will be the turn of man to go.


    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment