Category Archives: consumer culture

The Myriad Benefits of Hoarding Junk

DAILY PROMPT
Embrace the Ick
Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.

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The house was as neat as a pin. Old saying – start over. Let’s say it was zen-like minimalist: sparse, clean, functional. Boring, boring, boring.

Give me a good old hoarder anyday. Ah, the stacks of stuff, the labyrinthine pathways, the decaying paper, plastic, clothing, food stuff, and graveyard of small and large household appliances. What excitement, what purpose!

The hoarder is at the forefront of a strong economy. He buys far more than he can possibly ever use, thereby stimulating us out of recessions. Why buy one shirt when you can buy ten? Especially when you encounter The Sale of a Lifetime. (By the way, these sales happen every other weekend.) If the shoe doesn’t fit, buy it.

The hoarder runs a junkyard business out of her home that could, again, boost the economy. I should say a potential business since she would never actually sell any of her great stuff. Broken coffee pot, it’s there if you can find it. One thousand bobby pins, slightly rusty, got it, right under the kitchen sink. Newspapers* from every day of the year 1966 moldering in the basement.

The hoarder is also the ultimate recycler. We can all learn valuable lessons from him or her. Given enough time, the home becomes a virtual compost heap. The house and its contents will revert back to nature as it decomposes bit by decaying bit.

How many famous dead people alone reside in all those heaps of dust in a hoarder’s home? A little Shakespeare here, a little Gandhi there. A shrine, a veritable shrine. Praise be the hoarding instinct.

*News stories printed in ink on large sheets of paper that were printed each day and distributed daily to homes, businesses, and to a sort of coin-operated vending machine.

The Butterfly Effect: Wings, Blades, Eyelashes

Layman books on physics litter a portion of my bookshelf. I’ve read some of them and do remember the butterfly effect. A butterfly in Africa flutters its wings and a hurricane develops near the Florida coast. The innocuous becomes the monumental.

If the delicate wing of a butterfly alters events so dramatically, what about windmills? While windmills create a more benign form of energy, they may also alter events on this planet.

Machines and humans live symbiotically. Separation may no longer be possible. Machines keep increasing farm yields to keep both the weak and strong alive. Computers run commerce, governments, medical, and artistic endeavors. Travel, the worldwide version we crave, requires machines that consume vast amounts of energy. Small-tech devices meld with our bodies.

Over 7 billion pairs of human eyelashes flutter today. Nature tries to cull our ranks with bacterias and viruses and we fight back.

The human/machine creatures root for a clean, healthy planet. To maintain both is irrational. At some point, something must be sacrificed.

 

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Non-Scents Rant

I hate this smelly world. I’m not talking about the smell of roses or the cooking smells of a tasty meal. I hate the artificial smells that offend my nose just about everywhere I go.

Years ago, the stores sold a few cans of Lysol, and a handful of Glade solid air fresheners that shrivelled up to an ugly glob when left out too long.

Now stores stock more and more aerosol air fresheners, scented candles, and liquid scents on their shelves. These artificial smells are bent on “improving” the smells of our world. But instead they create a worse stink.

These smells invade other products. I accidentally bought laundry soap that had an intense, cloying scent to it. The clothes stunk when I hung them in the closet, and they kept on smelling when I wore them. I couldn’t stand it anymore so I gave the soap away to someone that used it. I could tell because they always smelled like this stinky product.

I try to buy unscented, less artificial products. Often when I scan the ingredients, perfume is on the list of unscented, dermatologist-approved products. Trying to escape the ingredients that sound like something cooked up in a chemical laboratory is nearly impossible to do.

If anything, exercise should improve my health. I take a class at a place that stocks perfumed lotions and body sprays on their bathroom counter. Notice to the women that spray on Victoria’s Secret Sexy body spray: you don’t smell like “vanilla, orchid, sun-drenched clementine and midnight blackberry” (whatever that is). You smell like a hazardous-chemical spill. I’d rather smell your sweaty selves when you exercise than this concoction. I love real vanilla in my cookies, not the faux vanilla on your body.

While I’m at it, don’t do me a favor by cleaning my exercise mat with a Lysol wipe. It makes my eyes water and burn. I’m rather live with the germs than this anti-bacterial weaponry.

I refuse to cover up cooking smells in my house with the phony smell of a lab-created air freshener made of raspberry/pomegranate/dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. I’ll keep the fish smell over this mixture.

A note to the product development people: you have reached the saturation point of freshening our air with your smelly products. Now you are just adding to the air pollution. 

End of rant. Thank you for listening.