Stuffed

Writing in Eye, Kate Carraway remarks on what she calls the tyranny of stuff:

“As my friends and I become more and more situated in our adult lives, it seems that the need we feel to both accumulate and keep random debris is informed by a secretly and malignantly aspirational urge to hold on to something lost (track-and-field medals), or to be someone else (red-sequined shorts) or to know other things (uncracked books) or to rebel against not having money to invest or buy better stuff by spending blindly on smaller, shittier, more attainable stuff (DVDs, H&M separates, IKEA everything). At best, the stuff we have contributes to our lives and even our identities, but unchecked, it holds us in thrall, a tyrannical presence with a heavy price tag.”

I have too much stuff: music I don’t listen to anymore (if ever), stereo equipment that doesn’t work, video games that aren’t compatible with the computer own, clothes that don’t fit, an espresso machine that I don’t use, roof racks that don’t fit my car – and this is just the stuff that is nakedly useless.

I wonder if Tim Keller talks about surplus stuff as one of his counterfeit gods in his eponymous book on idols (Note to publishers: I’m not above taking free copies of books to review them and stuff). Think about the power of stuff, you probably have at minimum a shelf or drawer of things you don’t need or never use, some people have whole rooms or garages of stuff.