I have a tendency to collect crap - or stuff, as George Carlin put it. My house is the big pile of stuff with a cover on it that Carlin was talking about in his routine. Stuff collected from the past ten years that I intended to do something with at some point. A lot of this stuff is books. Some of the books were actually bought by friends, paperback novels leaving their houses for the Salvation Army, but somehow making a several-year pit stop at mine. One of these books is the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby's story is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a young man who moves to Long Island and becomes Gatsby's neighbor in the 1920s. Nick's shallow cousin Daisy and her husband Tom also live in the area, as well as Jordan Baker, Nick's love interest. At the center of the story is Gatsby, a man of mystery and a former lover of Daisy's who wants her back.
Throughout the novel Carraway idolizes wealth. And although his perspective on morality changes, his perspective on materialism does not. While reading the novel I couldn't help but think of not only the excess of the 80s, but the alterna-yuppies, starbucks punks, & chuck basses of today. Not much has changed, and as I shop for a blu-ray dvd player to go with my HDTV, I doubt much ever will. But hopefully we can treat each other a little better (especially this holiday season), lest we suffer the consequences, like the characters in the Great Gatsby.