I’m not going to buy the iMac. (See my earlier post 26 July: “Make yourself feel better and save $200,000 to boot“.)
I recognize the syndrome. The world is going to hell all around me, and I haven’t won any literary prizes this week. My girl don’t love me and my chickens all ran away, not to mention my cotton won’t grow (© Mad Max iMac McGinty), and I sit here singing the blues and wondering what would make me feel better.
This is what leads grown suburbanite men to buy cabin cruisers and then park them in their driveways as a handy place to sit and drink beer with friends and wear their Tilly hats and talk about fishing. (Far lesser fits of existential angst merely leads Sara to go to a department store and buy a new blouse or skirt. Of course, this is a far lesser pressure on the budget, and a blouse at least keeps the chill off.)
What I’m saying is that the Mac-lust is merely a nearly universal human tendency, first of all, to want to leave some mark on the world—some tangible evidence we exist, a sign that says “I have passed this way.” It’s also a status thing, a bit like wolves pissing on the boundaries of their territory but arguably more polite. Most basically these days, however, it’s a symptom of the consumerist virus that infects the mind with insane urges to buy things that you don’t need. (Here’s an juliet schor interview2 – JCC that explores this syndrome in some detail.)
As the Lord Buddha, for one, clearly saw—this behavior will only leave you unhappy again, once the initial buzz wears off and you hear that some even fancier item is now available, and one of them even now rests with the Jones in the apartment next door. Yeah. Next thing you know there’s a new iMac that’s powerful enough you can use it to fly whole communities, maybe even the entire Tea Party, across vast interstellar distances to other galaxies. And you’ll just have to have this thing, even though all you’ll do with it is string words together and then change them around this way and that till you get tired of it. (That’s if you’re a wordsmith, which I claim to be.)
Just buy it, says Sara. Stop talking about it and buy it. It’ll be good for you.
And this, and that, but there’s no way I’m going to buy the iMac, no matter how half-price it might be, and no matter how enormous the pile of money I’ll therefore save. Okay? Geez.