Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pardon Me While I Throw Up On Myself

During the holidays I developed a strange need to watch a show called Hoarders. I actually watched it on instaNetflix and am quite curious as to what commercials are shown while the show is on. The Container Store? Mr. Clean? What upsets me most about watching the show is how little the show actually accomplishes, how the show is painfully devoid of humanity. Yes, we viewers get to gawk at how dirty these people's houses are, how they have chosen to have stuff like a collection of cats or years-old yogurt cups rather than personal relationships, and we get to watch them squirm and cry as a crew (standing by ready to help the hoarder!) tries to clean out various hoarders' houses.

What I keep hoping is for someone to point out an addiction to bargain shopping. This is the price of capitalism: that someone fills up their house with shit he doesn't need or will never use because it was cheap to buy. And then he feels terrible for having to throw it away. Or he fells terrible about all the shit everyone else throws away so he keeps broken shit. There are extreme issues of poverty, loneliness, and self-esteem that are hardly addressed. What a loss--to have such an interesting topic for a show and to completely make an empty half-hour around it. They should just call the show Police Chase or something. Hoarders become that way after many, many years, and they can't possibly clean their houses in two days. My dad sometimes visits the homes of hoarders because he's a caseworker for the elderly. He says there are clients' houses that are so terrible he has to throw away the clothes he wore during the visit. He says the stink never comes out.

Would hoarders be hoarders if everything they bought was super-expensive? Do you know any hoarders? I know some and after I watch the show, I maniacally clean something. Last time I dusted a lamp, threw away three broken chopsticks, and did a load of laundry. My mom jokingly called me a Paper Hoarder because I keep wrapping paper from various Christmases. Also I like to collect trash such as the packaging from electronics because I like to craft with them. From now on I think I should stick with Buffy reruns.