This new “reality” show premiered on the ridiculously named SyFy Cable Network last night. Host Elyse Luray goes to great lengths to differentiate this colossal geek train wreck from Hoarders, stating, “Their collections have just gotten very big and out of control, and they just haven’t had the time, or maybe the space, or maybe the economics to get it back under control. But, they’re not collecting everything under the sun… They have boundaries and they have a focus.”
I don’t care how neatly you dress it up, this show is Hoarders with people who have a Mint on Card fetish. Sure, most of these folks aren’t collecting trash out of a dumpster and dragging it home… But most are just as out of control as the dumpster divers who have long forgotten what it is like to exercise any measure of self-discipline.
We all know people like this. Hell, I used to be like this… Until I realized that no amount of inanimate, plastic, porcelain or metal shit was ever going to cure or fill whatever hole in my life I felt needed curing or filling. Sure, I still treat everything I own/collect with reverence and care– but my best day ever was when I finally learned how important it is to expend the bulk of my energy on caring for the living people (and animals) in my life… And not all the crap I have sitting lifelessly on a shelf. You can be an avid collector/reader and still have a life.
And I’ve collected some weird stuff. In addition to comics, collectibles, books, etc, for a short time I purchased small, strange-looking green ceramic animals (they had to be green) manufactured between the 1950s and the 70s. I am also the proud owner of a signed baseball collection… But I only own baseballs signed by players who have been convicted of a felony crime. I find this kind of niche collecting to be the most fun… The kind of stuff an auctioneer will look at in an Estate Sale after I die… And mumble curiously, “What the hell is this?!”
I could care less about all the Trades and Hardcovers I buy– except for their entertainment value. Despite owning many shelves chock-full of books, if I got rid of everything but the ones I really cared about– I bet I couldn’t fill two full shelves. So now, if I don’t get a first print of IDW’s Wally Wood’s Artist Edition (which I didn’t get several months ago), then I just simply miss out. I’m enough of a persnickety collector to only desire the first edition but I am also sane enough not to shell out $500 to buy one on eBay in the aftermarket.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: There is NO LIMIT to the amount of pure shit manufacturers will make for us to consume. If they see dollar signs in an idea, some tchotchke will soon be sitting on a shelf somewhere– tempting us.
Bottom Line: If you’re an avid reader, collect what you enjoy reading or, more importantly, think you’ll enjoy re-reading. If you like toys, splurge a little and take them out of the plastic once in a while. Above all, enjoy what you are doing. But if your hobby really and truly starts to take over your life… Stop. Go out and interact with people. Even interacting on the net is preferable to sitting home alone.
Hell, anything’s better than being featured on claptrap like Collection Intervention.