The things I think we can do without as a Society.

Often times, as I go about my daily life, I run into things that are just too much. I run into things that are just completely unnecessary in our culture. Things that are in place only for business to turn big profits, but don’t serve the society as a whole at all. Things that are in so much excess, it’s really obscene. As a matter of our own personal content, I suggest we minimize these things as a society.

 

Cosmetics

 I was walking through a local mall and walked by an entire store dedicated to cosmetics (Sephora). Makeup seems to me to be too small a part of the human fashion to have an entire store dedicated to it. But after giving it some thought, I realized the general obsession the female populous has with this in general. I see all the magazine adds pushing makeup as the solution for beauty; sorta “upping” the standard on what we call beautiful. All the TV actresses (and actors) all made up to unrealistic standards. Upon further research I learned than in the US alone, the cosmetic industry is a 50 billion dollar a year industry. A 50 billion dollar industry of telling women (and men) that women are ugly, then offering them the cure for ugliness. Now don’t get me wrong, I can see wanting to highlight your attractive features, and perhaps shade your not-so-attractive features for …. a wedding, job interview, formal dinner-dance. But I happen to there are many women our there that won’t leave the home unless they are made-up. ……… This is a problem. And this is all the influence of big business. I happen to believe that if we get rid of cosmetics altogether, in time people will learn to appreciate their natural beauty again, and accept their physical imperfections. Then they will look at those Revlon adds in magazines and see what I see …… clown faces.

 

Self Storage

This not only permits a lifestyle of excess hoarding, it supports, enables, and exploits it. The number of storage units in the US is enough to fill the island of Manhattan. All I see is a landfill, or a junkyard. If it is being stored, its because there is no intention to USE. If there is no intention to use, then why own in the first place. It makes no rational sense.

 

Fashion

I DO see the value in fashion. It is a way to express taste and individuality. My gripe is with the pointless lavishness of the fashion industry. The runway models walking up and down the runway wearing costumes that literally nobody will wear …… ever. I don’t care where you live. If you are cruising Rodeo Blvd, you will never see anyone wearing that huge Peacock dress into a Gucci. Not gonna happen. When fashion serves as an addition to the function of clothes, it has value. But when you have fashion just for fashion sake at the expense of function, ……. that is just stupid. Profit is the only intention there. Making the public into fools for profit. No one is going to wear the peacock dress, its too big, and you can’t comfortably sit down. It’s probably not comfortable anyway.

 

The business OF business

I fail to see how the buying and selling of shares in a company contribute to the production of said company. Don’t the profits from selling their product/service do that. Should that not be the ONLY source of income dictating a companies growth. It should be that simple. Instead we have the business WITHIN the business world of investments. A huge amount of traffic of buying and selling of ownership. This has blossomed SO big, that even the “option” to own is a form of currency itself. Meanwhile …… what is being produced? ……NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. It’s just a game of “Lets Get Richer.”

 

Sport worship

Sports are great. They are excellent for health and instilling the spirit of competition. They are the very heart of gaming, which I personally get much value out of. My gripe is with “Sports Culture.” The fact that merely watching sports is a culture in itself. And this is no quiet culture either; It’s LOUD. And the fandom is just ridiculous. The fact that people get some sort of validation out of their loyalty to a specific team I find mind numbing …… because they themselves are not involved in any way with the team (or the sport for that matter) itself. They can create the illusion of involvement with concepts like “fantasy gaming” (I guess), but that’s very weak. This super fandom character weakness is of course exploited by big business as well. It is this subculture that permits these players to make obscene amounts of money, and gain “hero” status in the first place, for just tossing around a ball. Look at the influence Colin Kaepernick has. …… He’s just a ball player people. Not a hero, or a public servant of any kind.

 

Graveyards/Cemeteries

The very existence of these I chalk up to the ego of the dead, and perhaps the selfishness of their loved ones. The fact that such an excessive amount of real estate is reserved for carcasses is pointless. I mean …… they’re dead. A dead body is just carbon matter; it’s is not the same being as it was when it was alive. But human ego dictates that instead of giving it back to the earth from which it came, we spend ridiculous amounts of money to preserve the body in a box that guarantees it will not return to the earth for a long time, all while being adorned with precious stone and accessories  (I’m not going to even touch on mausoleums). All of this stems from the fact that the person before they died wanted something of theirs to remain in tact (EGO).

Maybe their loved ones want something to visit to remember them. While that seems like a just reason ……. don’t photos serve that purpose better? Aren’t photos a better representation of the person you once knew, than a tombstone to stare at.

Cemeteries would best be used as farm land. Put the bodies back into the earth un-preserved and let the nutrients of the body make the earth rich again.

The funeral industry is just another industry preying on peoples ego.

 

What all of these things have in common is that they’re all illusions. Illusions that business gives the people to take their money.

  • Makeup is making you look that way, that is not your beauty.
  • You don’t have any better access to those things in storage owning them, then you would have if you decided to purchase them when you need them. Ownership is a false security.
  • Beauty on the screen doesn’t translate to beauty in real life.
  • Stock trading is a gamble ….. not a means for business growth overall.
  • Your favorite baseball team is just a name. Since they are trading players and management constantly, your loyalty is to the name and  …… maybe the city the team represents. But that’s pretty shallow.
  • There is no physical part of our loved ones that remain once they are dead, and it was the never the physical that mattered anyway. It was always their character, the emotions; and now after their death ….. the memories.

Prison Safe?

Actor Robert Downey Jr. once said “Prison is actually the safest place on Earth.” in an interview after having done some time there. I remember thinking “Well that’s a strange thing to say.” When someone says something like that it kind of sticks with you. “Why would he say something like that?”,” What does he mean?” I gave it serious thought.

In time I started to realize not one, but multiple potential truths in that statement. I say “potential” because having not “done time” myself, I can only speculate.

The first one is the obvious one. In prison not only is the world safe from the inmates, but the inmates are safe from people in the outside world. One can’t just walk ….. or even break into prison. In fact, even internally the inmates are even pretty safe from each other (depending on the prison). Everyone is in their own individual cell. Isolated, and nothing is coming through those bars. The only potential threat is a prison guard.

The second safety that prison offers is not so obvious, and perhaps not so appreciated (or even realized) until its had. That is, safety from societal influence. No advertisements telling you what to buy. No politicians telling you what to think. No lies. No distraction, no diversion from focusing on self. Of course there are also limited resources for one to have any personal growth anyway ….. so the lack of distraction may be irrelevant.

The third is the safety from being forced to be part of the system. Get up, go to work, buy a house, pay bills. There are very few options away from this pattern in the outside world, and all arrows (influences) point to this lifestyle.

Fourth, safety from the mental trappings created by the above violators. When one is not bogged down by the lies, influences, and grind of living in the outside world, in time they will find their individuality and creativity. The greater possibilities of their growth. If only prison had the resources to pursue that.

I would consider ex prison inmates ripe for a minimalist life in the outside world.

No doubt RDJ gained perspective enough through his time in prison to develop a skill of safeguarding himself from bad external influences. That would definitely help with a drug addiction. 

 

New Year, New Goals

Here we go again. It is time to start the year with the most important task. The task that is the jumping off point for the year. The catalyst for things to come. And the task is to sit down, consider, and list our goals for the year.

I can’t stress enough the importance of this task. And I really mean it when I say we have to clear our surroundings of any distraction, clear our minds of any current stresses and distractions, sit down, do not feel hurried, and consider our goals for the year. However long it takes.

It’s important that we write these goals down. On a pad, a tablet, a white board, whatever. Important that we keep this list and refer to it often as a constant reminder. You see ……. our goals are not real to us until we write them down. Simply remembering them makes them somehow fictitious, and easier to ignore.

During this same “sit down” it is also wise to outline a plan for attaining these goals, or at the very least, write down some initial steps.

These goals don’t have to be grand. They can range anywhere from “Visit my sick aunt once a month”, to “Learn how to roller skate”, to “Lose 50 pounds.”

Completing this task is best way to go into (or start) the new year, acting as a springboard to get us started off right. Once this task is complete, we immediately feel rejuvenated and enthusiastic going into the new year.