14
Apr
10

the ipad.

Reader J.F. asks:

I got an iPad. Am I douche?

Dear J.F.:

Materialism is such a weird religion in our country. We’re taught that we shouldn’t be attached to physical, man-made items or technology, and yet our entire nation is built on production and consumption of these items and technologies. “The stuff you own ends up owning you,” said one famous philosopher named Tyler Durden. Designer jeans, iPods, sneakers, hats, cars — basically everything that “defines” you is made to do so by someone else, and marketed like whoa. How in hell are we supposed to avoid materialism?

I found something out about myself and materialism a few years ago. I don’t generally think I’m that materialistic. I don’t need the hottest sneakers. I don’t need the latest Ke$ha album. I could give a rat’s ass about who designed my blue jeans, as long as they fit me.

Then I went to California wine country with a friend of mine, and we rented a convertible.

I decided I wanted a convertible of my own. Nothing too fancy — just something that would let me put the top down. After a lot of research, including input from dad, and from other peoples’ dads, I decided to get a new Mazda Miata. It was the least expensive of the new convertibles, and got really good ratings.

The surprise came later when I realized that, in spite of my disregard for wanton materialism, this car actually made me happy.

I wasn’t expecting it to make me happy. I got it because I wanted to see more sunlight — that was it. But driving the car actually improved my mood. Material things aren’t supposed to do that.

I decided that this was the catch: if you expect material things to make your life better (happier, more worthwhile), they will always let you down. But if you’re not expecting or demanding the happiness from them, the feelings you do actually get from them will be much more than you could have expected in the first place.

I don’t think you’re a douche for getting an iPad. I know you’re a gadget guru, and you love gizmos. You probably aren’t expecting the iPad to save your life from boredom or whatever. You didn’t get the iPad because you wanted people to think you’re cool. And who cares if you did anyway? It’s a free country. The iPad is for sale. If you can afford it, meh, no need to feel weird for having it.

So no, dear, you’re not a douche. Enjoy your iPad.

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1 Response to “the ipad.”


  1. April 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Yes, it makes you a douche.

    However, calling someone a douche on the internet also makes said person a douche. Therefor, from one douche to another — can I play with your iPad? 🙂


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