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The Weekly Top Zen: Material Girl



I believe it was Susan B. Anthony who said, “We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” 

Man, I feel ya, Ms. Anthony. It’s a byproduct of living in a consumerist culture, I imagine. That, and probably just being selfish and a bit shallow. It’s somewhat hard enjoying buying various things when you are in college, though. All my money nowadays seems to go toward pesky things like heat, electricity and running water.

But my college days are numbered. Soon I will be out in the real world, at least temporarily (with a religious studies degree, one is sort of destined for a lifetime of schooling). I’ll have a job with a steady source of income, and, therefore, a bit of discretionary cash.

Yep, I’ll be rolling around in a bed of money. Probably $1 bills, but money nonetheless. I didn’t realize how much that sounds like I’ll be stripping. Well, I’m not ruling anything out. Times are tough.

Even with some extra funds, I don’t know if I’ll be much happier than I am now. This is because I have come to the conclusion that television is determined to crush everyone’s spirit.

I don’t own a TV in my apartment. This is not because I think the boob tube is vile; it’s simply because, you know, I don’t have any cash. I just went over this a few sentences ago. Pay attention, please.

During spring break, I caught up on all the nerdy shows that I don’t care to admit to watching while hanging out at my parents’ house. 

It’s odd; I’m too embarrassed to admit the shows I watch, but I have no problem acknowledging I spent my entire spring break sitting on my parents’ couch eating chips. I’m a bundle of contradictions, I suppose.

All this being said, I had forgotten just how intense commercials and advertising can be. I mean, really. I don’t know how people with cable stand it. After only a half hour of television, I wanted to rush out to buy the next thing advertised, and then promptly hurl it at the screen. 

Programming is such a constant barrage of messages telling you to buy things in order to be a better person. It’s a wonder that everyone doesn’t just shuffle around and cry all the time.

I mean, I shuffle around and cry all the time. But that’s because I can’t afford a television to watch History Channel’s “UFO Files.” Wait, I didn’t just write that. I only watch cool, hip shows like “NCIS: Horrifically Disgusting Sex Crimes Unit.”

While I can’t keep up with my favorite non-“UFO Files” shows, I’ve come to realize that it might be for the best. I was pretty miserable watching all the ads, which told me I wasn’t good enough to leave my house. I’m definitely happier without the steady barrage of commercials, even without an income or a television. 

This isn’t to say I have come to revile material goods. If anyone wants to buy me a couple seasons of “UFO Files,” I’ll be more than happy to accept them. And then not watch them, of course. Who am I? Some nerd who watches them at his parents’ place instead of the beach during spring break. Of course not.