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  • Lance Mannion
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*sigh* I hear you. Boy, do I hear you. Especially the shallowness of these places, which serve only the single purpose while hiding all of the other parts of life. It's gotten especially bad for me since, as a result of several years of moving, dealing with dead families' households, inadequate income, living in places where shopping online is a necessity, and increasingly picky tastes, I've broken much of my former buying habits.

I'm not saying this to sound virtuous, because wave a sale in front of me in the right e-store and I'm calculating if I can get a merino shirt if I forgo some other spending. The thing is, though, that stuff for stuff's sake, especially the poorly mass-produced stuff that's in most of those big-box stores, increasingly looks to me like more trouble than it's worth. I don't _want_ five cheap shirts I'll barely wear and have to find closet space for; I want one nice one I'll wear as often as it's clean.

But that's not how we're supposed to think. We're supposed to be good patriotic American consumers and spend spend spend! And then spend some more to store it, and on books on how to reduce clutter. It's a house of cards, isn't it?


The Paradox Of Our Age
We have bigger houses but smaller families;

more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense;

more knowledge but less judgment;

more experts, but more problems;

more medicines but less healthiness.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,

but have trouble in crossing the street to meet our new neighbour.

We built more computers to hold more copies than ever,

But have less real communication;

We have become long on quantity,

but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;

Tall men but short characters;

Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window

But nothing in the room. — the 14th Dalai Lama.

Cathie from Canada

They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til its gone.
They paved paradise and put in a parking lot.

mac macgillicuddy

There's an episode from the long gone "Mad About You" sitcom series. Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt are getting ready to take what she says will be a quick trip to look at furniture, and he points out that "everything in life takes FOUR HOURS." You have to wait for the subway, then you have to get something to eat...

That was life in the city back when that show was on. In our little rural corner of the state, I still find that to be true, but for different reasons than Paul's.

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