After my previous two posts, I thought it a good time to talk about the ugliest of all Christmas demons: materialism. Sure, there are a brigade of other Christmas-demons (the I-was-next-in-line demon, the make-a-bad-driver-worse demon, and the deadly food-and-alcohol demon), but I feel that the materialism demon is the worst of them.

I recently found an ipod. I still can’t believe it, but it’s true. Now, though I am pretty much anti cell phone/unnecessary electronics, I will admit that deep down I have thought about picking up, if not an ipod, some other mp3 player.

What can I say. Advertising works.

So, good fortune smiles upon me, saves me 200 dollars, and throws a used ipod in front of my stumbling feet. I couldn’t be happier.

Just to backtrack for a moment, I’d like to restate something that I glossed over previously. I mentioned “considering” buying an mp3 player, when truth-be-told, I basically had my hand in my pocket, ready to throw a wad of cash at the nearest retailer.

Not to drag this on, as being a storyteller I am prone to do, I have had the ipod for a few weeks now and have used it three times and a total of maybe thirty minutes.

What I realized is that I really don’t need this over-expensive cultural phenomenon. I’m either at home, where I have my computer and radios; in my car, where I have the car stereo; or at work, where I have a CD player. So where have I found the time to use this ultra-thin, tune-pounding, wallet raper?

In the bathroom.

At this point I ask that you don’t overanalyze the times-used to minutes-used ratio, as it doesn’t cast an appealing light on me.

Ahem. So, my point, finally reconnecting to the title of this essay, is that something about this time of year combined with relentless advertising has caused me to believe that I need something. Not exactly a new concept, and certainly not a zen enlightenment for most of you, but still a point that I feel needs to be made, especially now. Because we forget, don’t we? As I’ve mentioned, I’m anti-this stuff, and I was still sucked in.

There’s a horror story somewhere in all of this. I just know it.

5 thoughts on “Materialism”

  1. Advertising is a powerful and relentless machine. At this time of year it is usually running in top gear too. I think a lot of people get sucked in.

    I’m lucky I am insulated with an invulnerable meanness that would make Scrooge look generous.
    Humbug I say!

  2. I’m not all that materialistic either. I don’t have a mp3 player or an Ipod, but I do have cell phone. It’s a prepaid one and I only use it when I have to.

    However, there is one cool gadget I would love to have. It’s a laser keyboard. You turn it on and it projects a laser image that works like a real keyboard. I think that is so cool.

  3. Apparently then you need the hardware that allows you to play your ipod through speakers in the car, and the clock radio, and the unit that fits in your stereo rack.

  4. My cell phone is also my Walkman (remember those?), as well as a radio, digital voice recorder, 1.3 megapixel camera and video, scheduler, timer, stopwatch, alarm clock, and if I wanted to pay to connect it to the internet, all kinds of other things. I do manage to use the Walkman and radio during walks and jogs, the voice recorder many times while driving to take notes, as well as the camera whenever I don’t feel like carrying around my actual camera. I even have one of those Bluetooth things hanging on my ear to talk. Soon, that will be whole phone.

  5. Anthony J. Rapino

    Wow, Bob. That thing sounds complicated. And yet…also appealing.


    Heck. If I had the money, I’d buy all these gadgets too.

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