Wednesday, November 16, 2005

pick your social ill.

so on Sunday i spent the entire day with the Boy. we did various things, including going to various thrift stores. i don't have much luck at thrift stores for actual clothing (they never have my size), but i did acquire a number of books to help with my current state of reading deprivation. this included a beat-ass copy of The Da Vinci Code (i must be the only person left in the western hemisphere who hasn't read it), Bee Season (which is by Myla Goldberg, a person who, in my infinite igorance, i did not realize actually existed outside a song by The Decemberists), and Nickle and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenrich, a book that depressed me the first time i read it, and depressed me again when i read it on Sunday night.

it reminded me that i live on the edge of abject poverty. the first time i read it, i was in college, so at least there was an excuse for such poverty, but this time, no such luck. i have entered this willingly.

i realize when i refer to myself as poor i'm mostly just blowing hot air. if compared to the people in the book, i have several key factors keeping me above water, namely a college education, no dependents, health insurance and no debt outside my student loans and my bleeping car payment. a couple years ago when i took the requisite dumb soc class to graduate (apologies to Cabell), it made me think a lot about class, and the fact that i, like many artists, have an education that doesn't, and probably never will, line up with my earning potential. maybe there should be a special economic class for us: the highly educated poor.

anyhow, i have this decided to dub this Highly Subversive Documentary Film Week, since i saw a fascinating documentary called The End of Suburbia at the MFA last night, and tomorrow i am seeing a documentary about the evils of Wal-Mart. fun times all around. The End of Suburbia scared the shit out of me. i try not to get sucked into the hysterics of things like this, but this time, i'm not sure i can help it. people love to predict the apocalypse. it's kind of fun and makes you sound smart. but the facts thrown around in this film were truly scary. peak oil may have already come and gone in this country, and it's all downhill from here. time to start thinking smaller, people. don't buy that McMansion. live three miles from work. i do, and it rocks. if my car suddenly could not be used any more, i could get a bike and probably be able to accomplish 99% of what i do now (and probably be a lot thinner, too). thinking smaller and just having less stuff is a habit i have cultivated and developed over the last four or five years, a consequence born out of moving every year or so. so i jettison crap every time i move, and it feels fucking wonderful to get rid of it. i am a big believer in having a small amount of very beautiful things, and to hell with the rest.

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your eloquence again! It's been awhile. Just breathe and keep rolling with the punches...

11:53 AM  
mum said...

finding the essence of what you truely need is liberating.

3:50 AM  
The other Bethany said...

I haven't read any of Dan Brown's books either, for what it's worth. :)

3:30 PM  

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