I wanted to get a pasta maker. I eat a lot of pasta and I had seen the expensive machines on TV and they looked great, but I would have to eat about twenty years worth of pasta to justify the cost. Then suddenly the sales were on and it was reduced by 2/3rds of the price to make way for the new model. I got it, and for a month ate a lot of homemade pasta. Then I went back to the much easier store-bought variety. Then I wanted a Bokashi composter…
Even when we know we have been raised in a consumer society, and we know that historical purchases haven’t actually filled any gaps in our lives, many of us cannot resist the urge to acquire. It is hard to fight when around us consuming is encouraged on all levels. So it has struck me as odd that I can’t think of a single book where a character has been constantly purchasing crap.
The common factor in most books is that instead of filling their lives with more stuff (requiring, in turn, bigger houses with more storage) characters are chasing life. It might be love, survival, redemption, success, justice or any one of a million other life-changing things, but it is never a pasta maker.
Maybe when we write fiction we can drop the consumer glasses that have been fitted to our eyes at birth and we realise that all that meaningless junk is just junk. I wonder if we dropped our quest for consumables in real life we might turn our focus onto the bigger and more important things in life, like living? I think it is time to give it a try.