Materialism is a Cultural Demon

Ojai, CA — original photo — J. Black

The goal of this three-part essay is to encourage, not to make anyone owning a large home and/or large collections feel like a bad person. Those who shame others are the problem, it doesn’t help. In fact, for most it reinforces the inclination to continue buying and accumulating. A “fuck you”, to the angry so called environmentally enlightened lot. If you are one of those with knowledge reading this, try sharing ways to move toward living with less, it will be more effective than raging about other’s habits.

The objective is to reconsider why some…

desert horizon — Valley of Fire state park — Nevada, USA — original photo J. Black
Cassette in profile — Los Angeles, CA — original photo J. Black

Deep Tracks — Radio Misfits — Edition #3

Terrestrial radio and streaming are meant for the masses. Audiophiles and music heads are left to their own devices to discover new tracks. We, the dedicated music fan understand. We embrace the challenge. Hours spent making hand-scrawled lists of songs, incorporating themes, mixes for our latest crush, and more often, selfishly for ourselves.

Then phase two, dubbing to an audio device. Oh, the days long gone with my dual cassette deck recorder, you served me well. Then my iPod mini, you must have felt so used.

The following series is intended as…

Materialism is a Cultural Demon

Times Square 2019 — original photo J. Black

First world culture embraces collecting. Having “stuff” is a comfort for a lot of people. It is not a devious plot to harm others. It is how many of us were raised. More stuff equals happiness. The opposite is true.

More things create stress. Do I have better/more/high valued widgets than anyone else? How will I keep them pristine? What if one is damaged? All the worries outshine the pleasure of possession. The ultimate high from collecting is the acquisition. From then on, it is a burden. Yet we still do it. Collecting can be…

prism Los Angeles, CA — original photo J. Black
record rotation 33.3 Los Angeles, CA — original photo J. Black

Edition #2 — Alt Rock

Terrestrial radio and streaming are meant for the masses. Audiophiles and music heads are left to their own devices to discover new tracks. We, the dedicated music fan understand. We embrace the challenge. Hours spent making hand-scrawled lists of songs, incorporating themes, mixes for our latest crush, and more often, selfishly for ourselves.

Then phase two; dubbing to an audio device. Oh, the days long gone with my dual cassette deck recorder, you served me well. Then my iPod mini, you must have felt so used.

The following series is intended as a companion, another…

Record collection — Los Angeles, CA — original photo J. Black

Terrestrial radio and streaming are meant for the masses. Audiophiles and music heads are left to their own devices to discover new tracks. We, the dedicated music fan understand. We embrace the challenge. Hours spent making hand-scrawled lists of songs, incorporating themes, mixes for our latest crush, and more often, selfishly for ourselves.

Then phase two, dubbing to an audio device. Oh, the days long gone with my dual cassette deck recorder, you served me well. Then my iPod mini, you must have felt so used.

The following series is intended as a companion, another nook or cranny to unveil…

abstract — guess what I am? — original photo — J. Black
OMG sign — Hollywood, CA — original photo J. Black

A hot summer day poolside at the Jones twin’s house. No parental units within miles, we lounged, played music at peak volume. As the sun set beyond the hillside, shadows marching down the dry brittle brown slope, we decided to nominate a few to go buy beer. I was part of the mission. A few miles down the main road through town, the Village Center was the congregation point for locals to confer about evening plans.

We encountered some friends, invited them to the Jones’ house. One of the invited asked if he could bring a couple new friends if…

Positive message — Ojai, CA — original photo J. Black

Humans and animals instinctually migrate. The dawn of humanity, our common ancestors did so to survive. Tracking game herds across vast plains, through dense forest and parched desert wastes. Eventually humans learned animal husbandry. Learned how to cultivate crops and to settle colonies. Colonies evolved into towns, towns into cities.

Despite the ability to live in one location, an ancient instinct pushed some people to explore. Be curious. Before written history, peoples traveled thousands of miles in search of a better climate, surroundings or escape tyranny. The pattern continues.

Adventurous souls carry on the tradition whether it is intended to…

Josh Black

Human being, writer, traveler, music lover, California native

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