Saturday, November 06, 2010


Considering some of the movies reviewed here, it should be obvious that shame is not really a big concern. That being the case, I am unashamedly ripping off this video which just showed up over on Kindertrauma. Enjoy…. The Eggs-O-Cist!

What the…? So you mean to tell me that Father Merrin & Father Karras died for nothing? All little Regan really needed to get over her affliction was just to get hooked on an hour long infomercial? I knew it! Buying new crap solves everything.

Or maybe it doesn’t.

As Pope John Paull II noted in his encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, “we find ourselves up against a form of superdevelopment… contrary to what is good and to true happiness. This super-development, which consists in an excessive availability of every kind of material goods for the benefit of certain social groups, easily makes people slaves of "possession" and of immediate gratification, with no other horizon than the multiplication or continual replacement of the things already owned with others still better. This is the so-called civilization of "consumption" or "consumerism," which involves so much "throwing-away" and "waste." An object already owned but now superseded by something better is discarded, with no thought of its possible lasting value in itself, nor of some other human being who is poorer. All of us experience firsthand the sad effects of this blind submission to pure consumerism: in the first place a crass materialism, and at the same time a radical dissatisfaction, because one quickly learns - unless one is shielded from the flood of publicity and the ceaseless and tempting offers of products - that the more one possesses the more one wants, while deeper aspirations remain unsatisfied and perhaps even stifled.”

Papal encyclicals aren’t necessarily infallible, of course, but science seems to back up the Pope on this one. Andrew V. Abela, assistant professor of marketing at the Catholic University of America, writes that “the empirical evidence… indicates that consumerist attitudes are associated with reduced consumer well-being. People who are more consumeristic tend to have lower satisfaction with their lives, a greater tendency to compulsive spending, higher incidences of depression, and also lower ethical standards. Tim Kasser, in his recent book summarizing research in this area, concludes that there are “clear and consistent findings” that people who are focused on consumerist values have “lower personal well-being and psychological health than those who believe that materialistic pursuits are relatively unimportant.”

Given that our economy isn’t doing so well right now, I don’t suppose it’s a popular notion to suggest that we refrain from buying new stuff to replace the old stuff that still works. But if JPII was right, and evidence says he was, maybe we should at least consider it. Me, I was finally thinking about giving in and going Blu-Ray this year as the recent release of The Exorcist in that format is very tempting. But I think I’ll skip it now and stick with my perfectly fine DVD. Besides, do I really need to see every pore on Max von Sydow’s nose or be able to count every chunk in Linda Blair’s vomit? Nah, I think I can find a better use for that money.


PaperSmyth said...

First things first; nice revamped layout. Streamlined without being antiseptic. And some links are back! Yay! (I hope this doesn't mean you will get rid of all the cheesy stuff completely, though.)

I really, really appreciate the sentiment in the blog post. At least now I know ours is not the only household putting off Blu-ray "transition." The Pope was right. There has to be more to life.

EegahInc said...

"I hope this doesn't mean you will get rid of all the cheesy stuff completely, though."

Considering I just posted The Eggs-O-Cist, I think the cheese is absolutely safe :)

Anonymous said...

blu-ray? um, no....we're still celebrating the Halloween cheap DVD bin Walmart had last week. I can pick up my TV with one hand, which seems to be a real anomaly these days. The gigantic TVs and high-def videos are a bit of a vicious circle, no?

I haven't read that piece of JPII's, but I'd extend the point to say that the desire for stuff to DO is just another kind of materialism. I don't mean the discipline to learn new things but I often think many people spend a lot of effort trying to become interesting--by having interesting experiences--rather than trying to become holy. But it's my reading of Tradition that genuinely holy people are very interesting. It's a lot more work, and usually attracts a lot less attention, than having a hobby that helps one feel cool & competent, or go exotic places. Which sucks, because I'd rather learn Vietnamese cooking & tell you about it than cultivate some unbloggable virtue like meekness. Take that with a grain of salt--plenty of SAHMs who leave careers they love are haunted by the fear of becoming boring.
Xena Catolica

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Heh, I'm still using a single-core, 2GHz athlon and a 128MB GeForce 7100 GPU, both of which are WELL behind the technology curve. And I've recently gone from playing World of Warcraft to NetHack, which has such a primitive interface you can play it on a VT102 terminal if you want to. And, of course, using linux keeps old computers going for many extra years.

EegahInc said...

"I often think many people spend a lot of effort trying to become interesting--by having interesting experiences--rather than trying to become holy"

Having spent most of my college years in the Art & Music building, I'll have to admit me and my friends were guilty of this a lot back in the day. It's like a variation of the old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times", except we could change it to "May you live with interesting people"!

"And I've recently gone from playing World of Warcraft to NetHack"

Alas, the software companies which publish my professional applications always gear towards the highest specs and most recent operating systems, so I'm stuck upgrading every few years. But I still stick with the old games because I LOVE Roguelikes! Free and simple, yet vicious and difficult at the same time. Along with Nethack, I also like Zangband, T.O.M.E, and Incursion d20. I AM GEEK!

Anonymous said...

"Having spent most of my college years in the Art & Music building..."

yeah, I spent a lot of grad school with folks from the Yale School of Music rather than being a good grad student & feel less and less guilt about that decision as I get older. When I'm inclined to feel guilty about it, I pray for those folks, instead, 'cause I didn't do it then.

Xena Catolica