Lusting After a Life In the Slums

You heard me right.

This post is actually inspired by something said in my friend Ryan's post: "Because we were at the bar, we've met cool people, including a guy tonight who expressed dismay at the whole typical American cycle where we make money and then spend money, but how he was over that and it wasn't making him happy."

Whenever I hear quotes like this, I think, "They've figured it out!"

We all figure it out eventually: money is insatiable. Of course, we are caught in some strange vortex in where we need money, but don't want to need money, yet must continue the arbitrary cycle of making it. For what? For what??


Give me the slums. Give me a life in where I'm not coaxed into buying a flat screen T.V. because it's more in style than the perfectly good T.V. I had before. Give me a home in where I realize that electricity is not-so-necessary (it's not). Give me a dream in where I'm not looking to put a down-payment on my house, but rather, put an extra stamp on my passport.

Because I've become un-enamored with pretty houses and fast cars...

So, give me the slums.

Why do I say the slums? Because every documentary/movie/video I have seen in a poverty-stricken area shows a group of people that have figured it out: community is the most precious gem in life. It is the rarest of diamonds that we take for granted here in the U.S., mostly because we are distracted by what wealth can by.

I'll leave you with this video. I'd love to visit such a place:


  1. How about somewhere one step up from the slums? Like El Cajon?

  2. I need to get one of those bottle lights. That's pretty cool. This highlights how much unnecessary crap we Americans acquire routinely. Wasted resources to make it and buy it. Christmas has really started getting on my nerves, with all the purchasing and giving of totally useless garbage. I know, GrinchyChris, its the thought....And it is. But I wish we could convey the thought without adding to the clutter.

  3. Agreed Chris! Christmas gets me pretty riled up as well!

  4. Yeah, but not the slums. In the slums you don't have clean drinking water and you can't afford a doctor. One of my students used to work in a slum and was telling me a story the other day of how someone put a dead baby in a garbage bag on his desk because he couldn't afford the funeral. He nearly quit.

    I guess if we in the first world weren't such greedy assholes, there wouldn't be slums...

  5. Yeah, I know what your saying :) But I chose to use something drastic to further the point I'm making. I'm a typical first-worlder.

  6. Yeah, ditto what Emily said. I agree with you that consumerism has warped the Western perspective on what's important in life, but the slums are not a place anyone wants to live. Feeling like you need to buy a TV is bad, but having all your kids die of bacterial diarrhea before the age of 5 is worse.

  7. ha, yes...I agree. But I really just wanted to find the poetic opposite of the rich and sad american life.

    The truth is I would probably not last a week in the slums. But what I was going for here is the principle.

    What I really want is a happy medium.

  8. i totally get what you are saying, although i wouldn't go so far as the slums! it reminds me that i should make changes in my own life though...i do hate getting caught up in material things but although that's all my blog is about, ha! i think i can be balanced. baby steps?

  9. Even though that's what your blog is mostly about, I know that's not what YOU are all about :) That's evident.