It's All Too Much
Too much information
running through my brain
Too much information
driving me insane.
--The Police, "Too
It's all too much for me to take.
-- The Beatles, "It's All Too Much"
I have too many CDs, DVDs, books, and magazines (mostly back issues of Vanity Fair and Sight & Sound). I don't have too many records, tapes, videos, and seven-inch singles. That's mostly because I don't buy the latter so much anymore.
As for the former, I purchase several forms of these media every month (and subscribe to several magazines). I also review a lot of stuff. If I'm writing about a title, I don't have to pay for it, which is great. Finding space for all the new arrivals is not so great.
Once upon a time, the space under my bookshelves was empty--a cat could easily hang out there (and did!). My kitchen counters, desk, and hallway also used to be free of clutter. No more. I've taken to piling books on one of the counters (and the bar that divides the kitchen from the rest of the apartment), new CDs next to my computer, and old magazines near the front door.
I'm a neatnik, so it's not as bad as it sounds, but sometimes I wish most of it was gone. My square footage is modest. (To say the least.) The more stuff I aquire, the more "modest" it becomes. A few years ago, I sold all the stuff I thought I could possibly part with, mostly singles and CDs I never listened to. It felt good. But once I was finished, I was finished. There was nothing else I could imagine selling.
So, I'm left with a lot of stuff, a lot of great stuff I'm always willing to loan to friends. But there aren't many titles I actually re-visit myself. I mean, I have so much new material to explore each month that I don't have time to re-watch favorite movies or re-read favorite books. Yet I can't part with any of them, because I know they're good, and I like knowing they're there.
In theory, though, it's pretty weird. I can understand having a sentimental attachment to a few items, like a childhood toy or photograph or piece of jewelry, but hundreds of compact discs? Hundreds of digital video discs? It seems ridiculous, and yet I know there's nothing unique about my predicament: I have too much stuff, I don't have enough space. It's the American Way.
It could be worse. I could have nothing, I could have no space at all. No space for me, the cats, the clothes, and all the other detritus that surrounds me. And defines me. And comforts me. And crowds me. I'm thankful for everything I have. I really am. But whenever I can't find a space in which to store some new acquisition...I wish I weren't so damned sentimental.
It's too much.....It's too much.
-- The Beatles (driving the point home)
Endnote: Lyrics from Sing365, Andy Warhol images from Easy Art. Lola, as in the Kinks song, looks a little like 1956's "Untitled (Green Cat)," except she is not, well, green. Naturally, I own a copy of Cats, Cats, Cats. I purchased it from The WarholStore.