Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Age of Excess?

If my blogging hasn’t been excessive of late it is hardly because of a deficit of issues. Some like economics have become a problem for me; it’s one thing warning of looking problems, quite another formulating appropriate remedies. It also seems a little redundant going on about predicted situations like AIG.

Leaving those excesses behind, a whole raft of others have been playing on my mind, making me wonder if we have not indeed entered ‘The Age of Excess’. I don’t want to sound excessively curmudgeonly, but need to share these few observations regardless.


I have a close relative who has displayed a frustrating inclination, most of his life, to a version of nominal aphasia. Put briefly, he can’t or won’t use peoples names, replacing them instead with lurid descriptive terms. The frustration is in knowing exactly who the moronic f***ing c*** is in any given statement.

For many years I only me a handful of people with this tendency, now it seems to be epidemic among men and women alike. It is a known condition, but I’ve never really worked out whether it is a mental lapse, low frustration threshold or just pure laziness. Whichever, an excessive use of gutter language does seem to be contagious.


I intend to live out my life without ever sampling a Maccas burger or KFC product, but if that doesn’t put me in serious minority try the fact that I refuse to have a cell phone. What is it with these bloody nuisance things? Increasingly I note tat the average person cannot survive without a phone of some sort connected to the ear.

So let me put it to you, communications company contracts are excessively (intentionally) complex, average use is often compulsively excessive, monthly bills are often cripplingly excessive – particularly with teens.

Not only that, but these people often have a TV screaming in the background, some sort of music device, an internet conversation or ten, a land line conversation coupled with cell phone wedged in their ear. But it is still only one more of the many current manifestations of excess.


A neighbour came in huffing this morning, having left her TV and other devices briefly, to tell me about an epidemic of obesity. This same woman, who could easily (or not) shed a few pounds, who constantly complains; I’m famished – staving… I could live for a year from her excess pounds.

They probably are famished and starving if they are surviving on junk food, but this woman cooks good solid BIG meals everyday for her brood. I could easily live for a week on just one, anyone, of their daily meals. Lucky country this, even in poverty you can easily become obscenely obese.

Excessive consumption seems to be drilled into people now as a duty, which probably works with all the other fears driving excessive behaviours.


Just in my small region it’s estimated that half the population have some sort of drug issue, prescription and otherwise. In fact they are often, by explanation, related. “I needed to lose weight I became hooked on sped…” I needed speed to work the hours I was on, then crashed my truck. Now I’m on painkillers…” “I only smoke (marijuana) to control the pain in my life…”

So that takes in the screwed up adults, what about the school kids who seem to be equally enamoured of various substances? Or the local dealers supplying all and sundry. Or the biker runs delivering to town without drawing the slightest attention from local police. In fact I received a warming from the bikers recently for reporting activity to the police, which would suggest a tad of collusion.

Motor Cars

Talking of drugs… While many people are downsizing or getting out of cars, because of rising costs, the drug dealers are keeping the high end of the market buoyant. I just had one complain to me this very day about the excessive $500 service charge he was just hit for.

Why do these blokes need the biggest and fastest cars when most can barely drive? Because they can!!! We watch this particular bloke driving his high powered car like a little old woman, but it obviously helps his status.

To go further might seem a little excessive and a lot curmudgeonly. I certainly enjoy my glass of red wine, and I’m often accused of liking it to excess. Even so I’m never accused of being less than lucid and sober.

I can reflect on teen ‘heroes’ The Stones and The Who. With the latter it was and still is My Generation, and ‘I hope I do die before I grow old’ – still I hope that. Sure they were fairly excessive at the time, and tended to do our outrageous living for us. Now everyone seems to have a self-destruction wish.


lindsaylobe said...

An interesting and comprehensive post on Excesses which got me thinking that excesses and unhappiness go hand in hand.

My comment expanded and became far too long so I have included it as a separate post with a link to yours.

Best wishes

abi said...

Excessive consumption seems to be drilled into people now as a duty

Yep - "Buy baby buy" - it's the battle cry of the Western World.

And one curmudgeon to another, there's nothing more frightening to me than to be anywhere near a teenage driver using a cellphone.

D.K. Raed said...

hey a good dose of curmudgeonliness is necessary to survive!

the cellphone texting issue drives me nuts. they may think they're multitasking, but they're not really participating in the world around them, certainly not in any conversation with living breathing people right in front of them. if you ever have the misfortune to read what many of them are texting, you'll really go over the curmudgeon edge. no deep thoughts, no insights, nothing worth hearing unless you really need a "QT alert: bl BMW rd lt main st" ...

Cart said...

Abi, sorry I’m slow at the moment. Seems like you and DK share the cell phone concern. Never in history have so many people had such an opportunity to say nothing in particular – often in a dangerous manner.
Lindsay's post raised some further issues. Well done!