I fought off hordes of thieves and had a value-assessment-ray in a dream last night. Since my dreams are mostly forgettable, or merely context specific defragmentations of recent life events, I had fun! It was still just fragments of the previous day, where the hordes were inspired by a dumb Walking Dead arcade game and the value ray was based on a turn in my writing from “Cluster Restricts Options,” and a key collectability realization.
I have no interest in special, limited edition, collector’s editions.
I don’t mean to lambast Terminator or VHS tapes in particular here. They just happened to be the most apparent example, being neat box sets I bought cheap, and they’re movies I honestly don’t care much about. I bought them, and own them still, because they are unique insights into how the VHS medium stood itself out, with gaudy and impressive boxed sets containing a smattering of information and production pieces, and because they have some value.
Where’s that value-assessment-ray?
In my dream, I had just moved into a new house that was being broken into constantly. I quizzically didn’t have locks or blinds, so I’d wake up each morning to things having been stolen, kind of like the baddies in Kingdom. I built up a rapport with one of the thieves – a despicable but honorable thief with a flashlight-like device that would shine an object red when it detected it had a high resale value. There were only one or two things in my dream-house with any value. He was apprehended, tragically, and I woke up either to my alarm or the increasing absurdity of the dream.
Would that value-assessment-ray shine over those tapes?
Maybe if Terminator were my favorite movie series? Otherwise, they stand atop my VHS tape collection as the sort of decadent crown of a medium I don’t appreciate as much as I once did. I haven’t watched a movie in over two months. I’ve started wandering through collectible shops and big-box stores again, my mind lingering over objects I would once buy because they looked cool, and yet I haven’t bought anything other than groceries or tools, basically, since I’ve moved. Nothing collectible. I know I won’t continue that collecting process again because there is no point for me in buying something for $5 now to try to resell it later for $10.
I still like my stuff.
I might buy an occasional superfluous object; something that just aesthetically pleases me because there’s no point to disregard all pleasure in life. It’s just rather than indiscriminately buying anything somewhat fancy, I’ve learned to really consider each new object. Do I merely enjoy what the object represents? (Like the tapes.) Or will the object light up a darkened room with a bright red light? (Like the value-assessment-ray.) I have looked at a few objects with this new outlook, a pre-emptive value-assessment-ray perhaps, and nothing’s held up under the light.
Maybe that ray only detected value to its holder, rather than value to others?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Besides what’s above? I took the photo a week or more ago but didn’t really have enough to say about it. The dream provided a good framework and I’m happy with how I weaved it into the essay’s narrative. I thought of writing more, but the whole point of writing 500-word-maximum essays like this is to practice the idea, gestation, publication process more thoroughly. Adding more words doesn’t improve the practice of thinking up new ideas or publishing them. It adds to the discipline of writing, certainly, but writing is the easiest part of this process. – Also, the Walking Dead arcade cabinet was dumb because of the premise. Zombies endlessly hounding you, except they wait until it’s your turn to fire at them or for them to attack you, and none of the doors are locked at all. I like what I’ve read of the comic, and haven’t seen any of the TV series. Just because I like zombie stuff doesn’t mean it dictates what I do with my life.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Explained above.|
|Written On: May 3rd [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|