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Thursday, 11 September 2003

      I think my stuff is what's making me unhappy. Either that, or the idea of having so much stuff. That would be difficult to tell one way or the other. I don't think its the stuff as such that's the trouble, but circumstances around the stuff. For instance, I can't just get up and take off, because I have all of this stuff that I wouldn't want to leave behind. The lovely idea of running away is about getting away from the unhappiness in my head and start anew. But with my stuff. I think I'm psychologically incapable of packing light. Pack Rat! Pack Rat!

      Some claim that stuff itself makes people unhappy, in a spiritual way. "Imagine no possessions..." Y'know, how people can strive so hard to get money to get more consumer goods, but the earning of the money and the goods themselves don't make those people happy. I'm not usually so happy while earning money, but I'm usually not depressed, either. Makes me feel a bit accomplished, though. But my stuff does make me happy. That may not be psychologically healthy, but I think it's true. I like to collect. When I finally get the last piece in a set, I feel fulfilled. That stuff-sized hole in me gets filled-in. Plus, listening to music and watching movies and reading books and all is fun!

      Then we go back to all of these smart people whose work I admire who claim that stuff not only doesn't make you happy, it makes you unhappy. Based on these ideas, I question the apparent happiness caused by my stuff. I feel content. Is that a good thing? Perhaps I should not feel content. Perhaps I should feel guilty for feeling content. Contentment is for the brainwashed masses of suburbia who never question the status quo and are barrelling headlong towards the inevitable fall of their cozy way of life. Right? Yep, sounds like me. I do question a bit, but I don't actually fight the system. Not really. Buying CDs used will not in fact bring the RIAA crashing down. It'll just leave me more room on my Visa for something else to purchase.

      So: Is it really my stuff that makes me unhappy? OR: Is it the fact that I can't afford a place of my own in which all of my stuff will fit that makes me unhappy? OR: Have I, under the sway of anti-stuff intellectuals, decided that I'm not allowed to enjoy my stuff and therefore find less enjoyment in it?

      What the hell does this have to do with anything?

      Oh, yeah. General suburban cubicle slave malaise, right? Exactly!

Posted by quantumfoam at 3:28 PM PDT

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