Tidying Up: First World Problems
I decided to spend my Sunday morning catching the latest television. Normally, I don't watch much TV but I do try to at least catch up on the buzz worthy and most talked about movies and shows just to be culturally literate. There's nothing worse than standing around the water cooler and having no idea of what people are talking about.
One of the hot shows right now is a new Netflix show called Tidying Up. If you haven't heard of it, the premise is simple: a tiny and cute Japanese lady named Marie Kondo comes to your house and tells you how to find joy (via an interpreter - her English is limited) by eliminating the clutter around your house. She comes into the home and sits on the floor, closes her eyes to focus on the energy and feng shui of the house then tells you what to get rid of to be happier.
People everywhere are jumping off their couches to put her ideas into action - flooding their local thrift stores with donations. So basically the people who bought a bunch of stupid shit in a desperate search for happiness are now giving it all away ... in a desperate search for happiness. Amazing. Concepts and shows like Tidying Up can only flourish in a country like ours. The doctor who created the disease is now knocking on your door to sell you the cure. It's consumerism at its finest, capitalism in full swing. A tv show that puts our first world problems on display to be mocked.
In episode one we are introduced to a upper middle class family. As with all home type shows on tv today, the parents are a bunch of over paid, self loathing yuppies. The dad is a sales manager and says he works 60 hours a week and works two jobs. Why? To buy a bunch of shit that the family does not need. Whats the result? The family is falling apart. Whats the solution? An expensive new age consultant coming in to point out the obvious - STOP BUYING SO MUCH SHIT. The mom is talking about hiring someone to do their laundry. For real? If your idea of problems is who to hire to clean your house and do your laundry - you might be a capitalist. By the end of the episode - the house is clean, and guess what? They spent more money to buy little knickknacks and accessories to make space - repeating the cycle of buy shit. In Episode Two, they get rid of 150 trash bags of stuff. 150! Why do you even own that much stuff?
All I can say is if you watch this show and say to yourself "that's a great idea!" or "we need to get rid of some stuff" you ARE A CAPITALIST. If you go to Bath and Bodywork's and Spend $100 on body lotion and hand soaps; if you have used the term "Retail Therapy"; if you throw away socks when they get a hole in them rather than repair them; if you have take out food on the counter from last night that will get thrown out ....YOU ARE A CAPITALIST. Stop the self-loathing and liberal posturing, go register Republican, support the Wall, and add a #MAGA hat to your closet. Bernie Sanders is not your friend.
The only reason you, and we as Americans, have the problem of "too much stuff" is because of American Capitalism. People in India are not saying "hmm how can I feng shui this place with over priced Pottery Barn accessories so I can find happiness through product consumption?" People in Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, the majority of the world's population do not have a spring, summer, fall, winter wardrobe. They have a pair or two of pants, a couple shirts. There are no lifestyle brands in Zimbabwe. The people of Haiti or Afghanistan would never vote for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she is Socialist in sheep's clothing. And they know first hand what it feels like to skip meals - for days at a time. They understand what it's like to have nothing and want for everything. It's human nature to want and collect stuff. Tidying Up proves just how greedy we are as people and how much guilt many of us have for what we have become.
Jeremy Wright is a self-described opinionated bastard. Follow him on Facebook.