01 August 2014

The opposite of "hoarding" is...

..."minimalism," promoted by a new Apple advertising campaign.
It proposes a lifestyle without attachments or clutter, where people — unburdened by the “fuzz” of possessions — are free to chase down every desire. Like a nomad on the Steppe, movement, horizon, and conquest are the only concern.

The room of the modern person is stark, but in its simplicity it exudes wealth and sophistication. There is just an iPad and a simple bed or futon. None of the old-time accouterments [sic], which signified intelligence, artistic interest, or a curiosity about the world, are evident. There are no magazines, books, or records anywhere. Just perhaps some high priced toiletries in the bathroom. Everything she needs is on the iCloud...

We’re encouraged to lose our possessions. Music? Store it on the iCloud. Books? Store it on the iCloud. Movies, magazines, newspapers, TV — all are safely stored in the ether and not underfoot or stuffed in a closet. It’s a modernist monastery where the religion is Apple itself.

Meanwhile, those who have hung onto possessions are castigated, jeered at, and painted as fools.
More commentary and polemic at Jacobin.


  1. We are currently trying to have less stuff. However, I am always reminded of this response to an earlier "have less stuff" article, here: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173328/whats-matter-graham-hills-living-less

  2. Do you want to be less of a consumerist? Buy this phone. Having trouble with hoarding habits? There's an app for that.

  3. When the power goes out cloud-minimalists have nothing to worry about...and nothing to fall back on.

  4. I'm trying to get rid of stuff, too. The hardest things for me to get rid of are books. I love them. They are part of me. They're my friends. I even hang on to old textbooks, which are underlined, annotated, etc. I think I will hang on to them until I have to move into a little "senior" place. I've given my good jewelry to my daughters, and am trying to get them to take heirloom china, silver, etc. But my books I will keep as long as I can.

    1. I may be a bit older than you, but I'm giving my book a "last read." Those that get a grade of 4+ get to stay on the shelf for another round years from now, but anything less is being donated to the library book sale.

  5. I feel like this article is arguing against a bit of a straw man. I don't think I know anyone who would actually like their home to look like an Apple ad...I'm sure they exist, maybe there are more in major metro areas, but they've got to be a tiny minority.

    As far as owning less stuff: I like to call it "living light", and it does seem more and more attractive as I get older. Having entertainment in the cloud is a good tool to this end, but I wouldn't turn it into a dogma.

  6. Ugh - I get so tired of all these minimalist "better than you" articles. I like stuff, specifically MY stuff. It is neither inhibiting or overwhelming; it's not blocking my chakra or my path to the kitchen. I get rid of anything that doesn't serve a purpose or have sentimental value and my house is not stuffed to the rafters. I see nothing wrong with having evocative items around that remind you of where you've been and where you come from. Those "get rid of everything and free yourself" people strike me as cult members.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...