Sunday, January 4, 2009


Today I spent a bit more time reading "The Importance of Being Lazy."
  • It turns out that there are sixteen square feet of retail/mall space for every man, woman and child in this country,
  • We spend seven times the amount of time shopping as we do playing with our children,
  • 70% of people visit a mall at least once a week, and
  • we consume twice as much per capita as we did in 1940.
Now I could question many of assertions, but after reading this book, I question why I shop and what type of feeling or sensation this evokes. I am sure there is some physical hormonal action going on from the high created by buying something - satiating a perceived need. Fortunately I don't (think that I) possess that gene. But I do enjoy thrill of making a purchase, and considering that I never use credit cards, my needs, versus wants, tend to be quite rigidly defined.

And although I live a quite frugal life, I do manage to demonstrate my share of frivolity: One could hardly judge my 1975 BMW motorbike purchase as prudent, but I find that I need some mechanical hobby in my life. And in this society of eroding autonomy and identity, it's always nice to have some keepsake from another era, an anchor to my childhood. And I got it for a song anyway.

But to change subjects...
Today I had some friends over to talk about a seed swap that we are holding this month. I don't really know much about this, but that's one reason I wanted to get involved. I need to increase my ability to grow food in a time of potential crisis, and besides, it's always great to warm up your home on a chilly winter day with candles, tea and friends.

The picture was out the south facing window on a rainy Sunday night. I type this as I listen to the mellow jazz sounds rolling off WWOZ from New Orleans (oddly enough, I haven't listened to this station in months), and realize that it is soon Twelfth Night; Carnival will begin in the Crescent City, and beyond. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

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