Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Metaphor For Our Times

Here’s a story we can all relate to these days, particularly people living on the Gulf Coast:

CHICAGO (CBS) ― An elderly couple is hospitalized in intensive care Tuesday hanging on to life, after being rescued from their own home.

Police say they were trapped in their own garbage for days, possibly weeks. There are reports they were covered in rodent bites and both were in critical condition when taken to the hospital. It was so severe that firefighters had to don hazmat suits before they could go inside the home in the South Side’s Grand Crossing neighborhood.

These people were literally drowning in their own garbage, which was piled six feet high in some places and crawling with cockroaches. Why does that seem so relevant to me? Many of the neighbors, who could smell the stench, suspected the two were hoarders. The article concludes:

Some experts believe “hoarding” worthless things is a compulsion that can easily turn dangerous as it did in this case. Possessions take over living space, becoming mountains of stuff that hoarders cannot bring themselves to toss out.

How to cure hoarding? Some stimulant drugs sometimes work. Therapy also works… sometimes.

Buried in shit? No worries, take a stimulant!

If hoarding worthless things that crowd out living space is a sign of mental illness, we all need heavy drugs and therapy. It’s better just to call it a sign of economic growth.

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