You can say a lot of things about the cult of celebrity, and even more about this church of materialism that we all subscribe to -- you, too, if you are reading this blog. We collect and amass and buy and store and hoard and stockpile until all we are made up of is a jumble of stuff. We buy clothes and shoes and then we buy the cabinets to store them and then we buy property in which to house the mountains of stuff we constantly acquire. Which is why it's particularly brutal to read about things like earthquakes and tsunamis, things that can not only sweep away everything we've procured in one fell swoop, but also take with them the much more important things we forget to treasure -- family, friends, pets... enemies.
This isn't intended to be a soliloquy on respecting life and being brave and selfless. Disasters pass -- quicker, even, when you're located far away and when there's plenty to keep you busy. And for us in Hong Kong, it won't stop our culture of collection. No one is saying "Hey, maybe I'll forget those Louboutins I've been saving up for and donate to Japan relief instead." We're all selfish assholes who work hard for our money. And I don't blame anyone for that, because I'm not doing it either. We can post a badge on our site and donate $1,000 and we don't even see where it goes or what it does, it's money traded in for a fuzzy feeling in the stomach that may or may not allay the guilt that we still have lots and lots of stuff, and some people have nothing.
And we're going to keep on collecting our stuff, until something happens closer to home or the whole world explodes in 2012. My point, I guess, is just this: If you're going to keep buying stuff, which we all know you are, then maybe you can stop in at Lady Gaga's site and spring US$5 for a We Pray For Japan wristlet. Nobody knows about the materialism than the queen of costumes, the woman who has egg cocoons and meat dresses and lobster claw masks made for her to wear once and discard into the archive. And Lady Gaga raised US$250,000 in 48 hours hawking that bracelet. What have you done?
So no, this isn't a sermon, necessarily, but it is a guilt trip.