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19:55 - Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
consumerist culture
If everyone had my predilections we really wouldn't have much of a consumerist culture. I'm not saying that to brag or try to agitate for a postconsumerist lifestyle. Sometimes a consumerist culture is awesome. Sometimes.

Like today, at the artwalk, I wandered from stall to stall, pretty well entranced by the creativity surrounding me. I loved looking at it, and noticing how it all struck me, and considering the mental and physical handiwork (and brainiwork?) that went into creating each piece.

But I didn't want any of it.

No, not even if I had infinite money and homespace. That photo edited to look like the woman on the couch is holding herself in shackles is so cool the instant I notice what's going on, but I wouldn't want it in my living room, staring at me. It would get less cool with every mundane glance. And the yarn Yoshi? It gave me a nice shiver of Mario memories, but what am I going to do with a yarn Yoshi other than take up shelf space with it?

I enjoyed intricately carved trick-or-treat bowls, a photo that captured California heat perfectly, pixelated wallets, and photorealistic cat pictures done in a pointillist style. And at no point did I want to experience seeing them more than once or twice.

I made that mistake at last year's Comic Con, when I purchased a portrait of Thom Yorke created entirely out of the lyrics from the first seven Radiohead albums. The artist was warm, genuinely nice, and obviously super talented and dedicated, and I thought the concept was so cool. I figured I'd spend hours with my face up against my wall, soaking in Radiohead lyrics. I was wrong. It came home with me and went up on my wall, but whenever my eyes sweep across it, I sort of wish it wasn't there, because the shadow made by his head on his neck makes his neck look like it's exploding in a bloody mess.

I get these crazy urges to purge all my stuff pretty regularly, and I don't know if this is at all related to that. Whenever I see stuff, I do flash forward in my mind to the inevitable moment where I'll have to pack it in a box and move it. Maybe it'd be different if I had a permanent home, or at least an apartment bigger than 400 square feet.


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