Thursday, January 3, 2008

Television n' stuff


I had lunch with an old friend a week before Christmas. I asked him if he had finished his Christmas shopping. He said that he had.

He asked me if I had completed mine. Turns out that my shopping list this year was pretty short, I told him, as the wife and I had decided to sponsor a child in Africa instead of buying each other presents (we're so great). I explained that we’re also hoping to sell our house and move this spring, so we’re trying to downsize our possession collection. And besides, I added, we’ve become too bogged down with stuff: books, movies, video games...

His incredulous reply: “Stuff is the best.”

I thought about it, and he’s right. Stuff is great. I just wish I could figure out how to take it with me.


I spoke with another friend a few nights ago. Several months earlier I told him that we were considering discontinuing our cable television service. He was shocked (he gasped when I told him). During our most recent conversation, he described several of the things he’d been or would be watching (he was most excited about the New Years Day outdoor NHL hockey game in which Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo in a shootout and the family-friendly series Cheaters).

After describing these in some detail, he paused to take a breath and exclaimed: “Television is awesome!”

These two are true friends, reminding me of what’s important in this world, what my true priorities should be: material encumbrances and passive audio-visual stimulation.

8 comments:

Russ Parker said...

I feel left out.

Andy said...

Yajeev, good thing I wasn't around with the first friend since when you told me the same thing, I thought "stuff sucked" and it was good you were removing a lot from your life.

The only stuff that doesn't suck is TV.

sstc said...

Paul Graham has said it much better than I could...

http://www.paulgraham.com/stuff.html

Yajeev, please read.

yajeev said...

russ... you should not feel so. your influence (albeit less direct and spread over the course of several years so as to lessen the force experienced by the acute application of philosophical worldview spouting) has resulted in a subscription to an elite magazine. if the elite feel left out, it is only becuase they are so elevated above the common stuff-loving, television-obsessed masses. but, you know as well as i do that stuff is the best.

andy...you may be right. i've been swayed by you once, and i'll be swayed again. i think we're in agreement here: stuff is the worst.

sstc... great link. good stuff.

Justin said...

I have to disagree that TV watching is "passive" stimulation. The entertainment value of TV is a lot less fleeting when watch 6 straight hours of it after you get home from work (this comment possibly relating to myself).

Avery Gray said...

Two words for you: Celebrity. Apprentice.

You're welcome.

yajeev said...

justin... that is a 6-hour block of bliss.

avery... so true. i missed the first episode due to funeral-associated activities. more on this later.

Russ Parker said...

Not quite reading ya.