One of these days I’m gonna get around to explaining why I like my favorite movies. But I think it’s fairly clear that a key thing for me is that it impact me with some sort of message I can take home. The impact and take home thing is key. Like I guess American Beauty had some sort of message about suburban malaise or whatever. Didn’t connect with me at all. Nothing I can take away from it. So does nothing for me.
I came away with something from Adaptation. I dunno, parts of it really moved me on a thinking level. I think I need to watch it again.
Most recently I’ve been thinking more and more about Fight Club. I only saw it once but I loved it when I saw it. I just resonated strongly with the central conceit (which maybe I’m misrepresenting since I just saw it once). Just that a lot of us are living in this empty materialism that’s hollow and leaves us unfeeling. He responds in anarchy, I have a different take, but still, I totally buy that main premise.
There’s a line from the movie: “the things you own end up owning you.” 100% agree. I dunno, I get depressed at myself and others because it almost seems like all we do in life is figure out ways to get stuff (cheap). The more we get, the more there is to get. It’s like getting stuff is our calling. I just got this home theater system and I like it but it depresses me. Just the time I spent researching and everything. And the upgrades never end. Need to get better cable, better speakers, better everything. I dunno, just the endless pursuit of materialism gets me down, even while I’m in the midst of doing it.
I guess that’s the part I don’t understand about myself. I feel very strongly about the emptiness of materialism but I still do it. Get all these things and worse, obsess about getting things. And I believe in the goodness and necessity of suffering while I simultaneously pursue… not success, but worse: comfort. I think what it is is I don’t know any better what to do. What it means to live a life sold out for Jesus without being a pastor or missionary. Maybe I just don’t have a strong enough sense of calling. I dunno. Maybe I should buy Os’ book.
Anyway, if you hear me talking about upgrading my speakers – shoot me.
You know how I used to keep myself in check. I told Adrian about this once. But I said to myself, I will not buy anything unless I would have no problem if I were to lose it. It affected both what I chose to buy and my attitude towards them once I had them. But yeah, I thought that’s how I could distance myself from being too attached to things, and is incidentally the reason I never bought a guitar or a new car. Wasn’t sure I’d be fine if I lost them.
The problem now is I’m making too much money. Which is to say I’m making money. So now I could buy a $2000 guitar and it’s not a huge deal if I lose it. I mean, it would be bad, but no big whoop because I could eventually buy another one, you know? It wouldn’t be like before I was working where if I were to lose it I would not be able to replace it for years. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with that. But now with an income a whole lot of things are replaceable. So my test still keeps me from being too attached to things, but it doesn’t stop me from buying things anymore, if that makes sense.
I dunno, I just need to know what the right balance is, how much is OK. Because unchecked consumerism makes me ill.