Saturday, February 17, 2007

like so much chattel...

Sometimes I think I have Adult ADD as I cannot consistently do any one task for an extended period of time. I constantly have stop, distract myself with some completely irrelevant tangent, and then eventually psych myself up to return to the task at hand. Hence I am banging out a pointless blog post rather than continuing about the chore of packing up my home, an activity which I have half-heartedly focused on for the last four hours. Progress has been made though I am a long way from being finished. But it is hard to focus right now as all of my worldly possessions are geometrically piling up about my apartment in various, temporary little cardboard homes.

Seeing the tangible product of one's own lifetime of consumerism is mildly unsettling. I have pissed away a lot of lucre over the years with little to show other than an ever-diminishing living space that has been blitzkrieg'd by an unconscious adherence to a life-philosophy of Completism. For the uninitiated, Completism is ultimately the lifestyle that is most antithetical to Utilitarianism. Utilitarian is how most historians describe the life and times of the Spartans, a mere 300 of whom managed to stand down Xerxes's army of 10,000 Persians during the Battle of Thermopylae -- that's a pretty strong endorsement. My lifestyle however, is pretty much the opposite of that. Odds are that 300 minimalist Spartans could never amass the amount of crap presently being packaged by one lone Arlingtonian.

Friends and family have wondered why, during my search for new housing, I have been quibbling over the difference of tens of square feet. As I bundle together my Life's Work, the rationale for my selectivity has evidenced itself. So far I have only packed up the "non-essentials," those items that are not necessary for me to clothe, bathe, feed, groom, or generally take care of myself; nor anything work-related as well. At this point, the ship's manifest reads as follows:

(6) guitars
(2) amplifiers
(2) boxes of guitar effects and music-related incidentals
(5) boxes of books
(6) milk crates of CD's
(1) box of DVD's (and more arcane media formats)
(1) sadly large box of Star Wars shit
(1) oversized Rubbermaid tub of home entertainment equipment

Even during my last move those long nine months ago, I did not stand back and take stock of my possessions. I was so interested in getting out of my little shoebox of a house before the roof caved in, that indexing all of my crap did not occur to me. But this pending move has elucidated much about my state-of-being and I am finally starting to Get It. These things, this chattel, these avatars of my culture-saturated existence, these possessions that possess me...they give me comfort.

They give me love. And I love them.


At 2/18/2007 11:18 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Wow. When I moved, I got rid of
nearly everything. I went from 6 guitars to three. I even thought about just going down to one, but I couldn't quite do that.

It's nice that you accept your love of your stuff.

At 2/19/2007 7:42 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Apparently I add crap as I relocate. I have already identified two new guitars I must have although I have no idea where I will put them.

At 2/19/2007 1:56 PM, Blogger Ryane said...

Like the commercial for Potomac Mills used to say, "Buy the half-price cocktail dress, the party will come".

You can screw around w/this phrase, I am sure, and come up w/a mantra that will fit your space/new guitar conundrum--'uy the mandatory guitars, the space will emerge.' Everyone adds crap when the re-locate. I am convinced the economy counts on it.

At 2/19/2007 3:45 PM, Blogger DCVita said...

I tend to to be a collector of X-gen memorabila...or at least that is what I tend to call all my junk.

At 2/19/2007 7:09 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Like GI Joe's and Transformers? That would be sweet.

At 2/19/2007 10:56 PM, Anonymous 123Valerie said...

I don't see any porn on that list, sir.

At 2/20/2007 7:20 AM, Blogger Jason said...

It's all consolidated on my hard drive.

At 2/20/2007 10:10 AM, Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

you mentioned Xerxes and the battle of thermopylae - that's hot!

At 2/20/2007 6:41 PM, Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I'm so glad that this post ended the way that it did. If you were going to say you gave it all up, I would feel bad about myself. Still safe within my walls of possessions, but bad about myself nonetheless.

At 2/21/2007 9:26 AM, Blogger Jason said...

I could never get rid of that stuff. Right or wrong, it defines me.


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