How to start a fire

You buy shit hoping it will make you happy. But your life continues to suck. Now you get rid of it all hoping the purge will bring rapture.

Welcome to minimalism Welcome also to the 21st century, where the spectrum of spiritual irony has people hoarding new beliefs to bring them closer to God and people getting rid of the stuff they have accumulated to improve their chances (with God)—and somewhere in between are the people who are torn about masturbation.

Anyway: minimalism. Minimalism is a cultural defibrillator for a comatose species that has become so jaded that nothing short of a drastic change will convince it of its importance.

Throw out everything you’ve hoarded and start over; wear the same color every day, and voila: do you feel the palpable emaciation of your unenlightenment?

The promise of an immediate life change is the business model of cults, you know, religion’s internship. The Shave-you-pubes—Make-your-dick-bigger model for change has kept us chasing a grander hope.

A paragraph in, this essay has devolved into another shit-on-everything-popular ad nauseam. This is how minimalism (and movements, in general) got started. Minimalism called bullshit on materialism and brought our shallowness to the surface. We kinda needed it.

In the world’s inevitable tilt toward economic voyeurism, minimalism felt like an antidote, at first. A balance. But then it started becoming like any other self-help movement. Promising peace and joy, and if that wasn’t full of shit, it started selling us stuff to buy to adopt a minimal lifestyle.

For a movement whose central idea is less, coming up with more bullshit seems to be effortless. It’s all cool to get pissed off about religion, but commercialized life-change is just religion modernized for the intellectually wasted.

We have the need to belong to an individualistic faction to give us a purpose. So we have one radical cause after another, and the effect, as it has been with religion, is all about marketing your superiority. It’s how fads onboard. So what changed? Now you have a minimalism bag, a minimalism shirt, and a minimalism dullness cream. For the minimalism dick, I guess?

A minimalist’s house answers the question: what if a serial killer was also an interior decorator? As opposed to regular homes, which answer the question: I am living inside a garbage can, am I a raccoon? As I write this, at this exact deathward moment, a million Indian mothers are shoving a plastic bag inside a plastic bag full of plastic bags.

Here’s where minimalism should have gone.

Minimalism isn’t a bowel prep to meet God. It isn’t about picking up the thirteenth bag of the twelve-pack toilet roll and asking, does this spark joy?

Minimalism is about each other. Us. Yeah, stop procreating, assoles. And let’s not even get started on the already off-springs and the look of boredom-infested-doom on their faces. Seriously, why do the kids now look and sound like they are getting over a rough break-up?

That took a bit of a turn on the Third Reich but stay with me on this nauseating roller-coaster for a bit more—the water splash toward the end is fun.

At a time when the beginning of the end is looking like a real possibility, we need a new kind of continuation. A new minimalism. The earth needs a diet plan. It needs to throw some shit (people) out, organically of course, mostly. The earth’s looking at us and going, “you don’t spark joy anymore, humans.”

At its core, minimalism is about freedom: about living the first-person life instead of the third-person life (you know exactly what I am talking about), replacing self-limitation with self-sufficiency, replacing existential angst with existential trust, about leaving the earth lighter than you found it; go out like a spark, and finally, really, this is what is going to save the world—about shutting the fuck up.

How about forming an opinion and keeping it to yourself? Forget church and state, how about separating Twitter from the toilet? Speaking of the toilet, how about we send TikTok videos on the next space mission and significantly improve our chances of an alien invasion and just get this over with? How about phones that explode if you take too many selfies? How about porn’s way more realistic than people’s lives on social media will ever be? How about getting offended by jokes means your self-esteem is as low as your therapist’s hourly rate? How about I take my own advice & shut the fuck up?

Just some more, cze the blog got no character limit, and neither do I.

The stuff you really need to throw out are ideas you have accumulated, mostly around sex, religion, politics. Lies, power, anger. This minimalism is about making space. Make space for other emotions. The non-instagrammable ones. Warmth. Grace. Mercy. And the newest emotion of them all: contraceptive horniness, because some literal space will be nice too.

We don’t need more movements coming out of existential crises. Of radical changes. We need movements coming out of exploration. Of contradictions. Not from a search for God, but from a search for the part of yourself that’s immortal.

With every sunrise comes a sunset, but the sun—the sun keeps burning. Lighten up.

2 thoughts on “How to start a fire

  1. Woah.. that was quite a rant. And as most times, couldn’t understand few vocabulary🙈
    Some jaw-dropping moments-
    “business model of cults, you know, religion’s internship” “commercialized life-change is just religion modernized for the intellectually wasted”

    And as most times, what a beautiful ending!

    What does movement coming out of explorations looks like?

    As most times, I am in awe with your capacity to comprehend reality, generate insights, honest cross check with your understanding and being able to articulate it so well..
    If we ever meet in person, this is what I am going to say- “Ah, pleasure to meet you while you are still alive & breathing & carrying that mind around”

    1. Thanks for reading Foram. The moment, quite boringly, feels comforting. Putting effort into making something look effortless requires an equally faux form of relief. I won’t deny somewhere in there is much delight. People who have met me in person usually say none of those things. It’s usually more like “you have lost weight” or “Hi Srikanth”.

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