Sunday, August 13, 2006
What has always been very stark to me is the degree of emotional attachment that people develop with whatever objects they collect. It is not a relationship to people or other living creatures, collectors relate to objects, evidently lifeless, and which have no useful purpose for the collector, like a bunch of useless toys. And what I find perhaps the most disturbing is exactly this non-interactive dimension of collecting. People don't collect things to use them in daily life, they collect them to collect them and do nothing except gaze at them. It is also true that there is often a social dimension that is developped vis-à-vis other similar collectors, which can range from a friendly recognition of the same collecting affliction ;-) to "my collection is bigger than your collection - ooh." Like someone cares?
Obviously there is a selfishness to collecting but I think what bothers me the most is how futile the whole deal is, just amassing a bunch of useless objects, and onto which people deposit a ton of useless emotional feelings. I have always found this psycho-emotional relation to the things themselves to be very repulsive. What have you done? Nothing. What have you constructed? Nothing. What have you invented? Nothing. Who have you helped? No one. But you have a bunch of things piled up in a room. It's a normalized form of craziness, I think.
I relate to things so differently than that. So it is actually impossible for me to comprehend why so many other humans on the planet have this « collecting » problem and the fact that they actually get a considerable amount of emotional pleasure from this horribly dissatisfying, futile, emotionally vapid, dehumanized collecting activity. It is like trying to understand Martians – we cannot belong to same species.
This brings me to another point that I think is a problem nowadays. With all the political battles that were fought against racism, the idea and the truth that humans can experience life in radically different ways has largely been erased, all following the obsessive PC dogma that « we are all the same, » even if we come in different colors on the outside. In truth, we, humans, can be so profoundly, immensely different, very much like different species. A lot of people are profoundly disturbed by the fact that humans can be extremely different, think differently, feel differently, and they would like to concepturally erase these extreme differences which are unquestionably a fact. They want to impose a concept stating that the human race is pretty much all one glob of clones with minor variations. This is not the case at all. Usually these people have very mediocre minds and are not capable of thinking about human experience with complexity, but they can be the majority, even the totality in many different settings.