Sometimes I love living in the future. For example, in the future we have the Internet, which is incredible. Every day we upload the sum total of all human knowledge onto this thing, where it becomes readily accessible to everybody in the world except the Chinese, the North Koreans, and women in Islamic countries. Sure, as it turns out, the sum of all human knowledge mostly consists of "fail" videos, but it's still pretty amazing
On the other hand, the future kind of sucks, too. We may have the Internet, but arguably that's the only real improvement, and there's a strong case to be made that we're simply living in a lamer version of the 1980s that has Wi-Fi. Also, there was a time when the counterculture was actually interesting. Punk rock. Black power. LSD freakouts. Ken Kesey and his "Merry Pranksters." Now, we just have these assholes called "minimalists," and here's another one to which I was alerted by many readers:
I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.
Good for you. You're not special. You're a typical single Manhattanite. Nobody has CDs anymore, you might as well boast about not owning a bellows or a chamberpot. Six dress shirts is actually a lot. Also, it's called a "Murphy bed." It's nothing special either. Charlie Chaplin was doing schtick with one a hundred years ago. Fascinating about your extendable dining room table. When people come over to Mario Cipollini's apartment for dinner, he pulls out his extendable penis:
("Jeeves, fetch the leaf for Little Mario, we have company tonight.")
Nevertheless, even though he's not remotely special, he thinks he's special, because he made lots of money when he was young and went on the world's lamest spending spree:
To celebrate, I bought a four-story, 3,600-square-foot, turn-of-the-century house in Seattle’s happening Capitol Hill neighborhood and, in a frenzy of consumption, bought a brand-new sectional couch (my first ever), a pair of $300 sunglasses, a ton of gadgets, like an Audible.com MobilePlayer (one of the first portable digital music players) and an audiophile-worthy five-disc CD player. And, of course, a black turbocharged Volvo. With a remote starter!
The first red flag here is that he uses the words "Seattle" and "happening" in the same sentence. Moving to the "happening" neighborhood in Seattle is like ordering the "artisan" bread at Subway. Then he uses $300 sunglasses as a symbol of consumer excess. Please. That's entry-level when it comes to Fred optics. And a Volvo, really? When you're a young douchebag who suddenly falls into a pile of money you're supposed to buy a Porsche or a Ferrari, numbnuts. Basically, it sounds like after striking it rich he decided to live the life of a 45 year-old schoolteacher.
But then he really went wild:
I was working hard for Sitewerks’ new parent company, Bowne, and didn’t have the time to finish getting everything I needed for my house. So I hired a guy named Seven, who said he had been Courtney Love’s assistant, to be my personal shopper.
Seven? Like in "Seinfeld?" I realize that after Kurt Cobain killed himself Courtney Love was the only celebrity left in Seattle, but even so hiring her assistant makes as much sense as hiring Michael Jackson's physician.
Needless to say, Seven turned this guy's upper middle class conservative lifestyle into a nightmare:
My life was unnecessarily complicated. There were lawns to mow, gutters to clear, floors to vacuum, roommates to manage (it seemed nuts to have such a big, empty house), a car to insure, wash, refuel, repair and register and tech to set up and keep working.
Maybe if you'd fired Seven and hired a gardener and a housekeeper then you wouldn't have had these problems. And what's with the roommates? Haven't you ever heard of a dog or a cat? Getting a pet is Sad Single Person 101 for chrissakes. Walking a dog or cleaning out a litter box in between lonely wanking sessions in your giant house would have given your life meaning.
It got worse. Soon after we sold our company, I moved east to work in Bowne’s office in New York, where I rented a 1,900-square-foot SoHo loft that befit my station as a tech entrepreneur. The new pad needed furniture, housewares, electronics, etc. — which took more time and energy to manage.
AND because the place was so big, I felt obliged to get roommates — who required more time, more energy, to manage.
Then he meets Olga:
I DON’T know that the gadgets I was collecting in my loft were part of an aberrant or antisocial behavior plan during the first months I lived in SoHo. But I was just going along, starting some start-ups that never quite started up when I met Olga, an Andorran beauty, and fell hard. My relationship with stuff quickly came apart.
I followed her to Barcelona when her visa expired and we lived in a tiny flat, totally content and in love before we realized that nothing was holding us in Spain. We packed a few clothes, some toiletries and a couple of laptops and hit the road. We lived in Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Toronto with many stops in between.
Surprise! All the dorky guy with the Volvo and the roommates needed was to get laid. Who'd have thunk it?
I’m still a serial entrepreneur, and my latest venture is to design thoughtfully constructed small homes that support our lives, not the other way around. Like the 420-square-foot space I live in, the houses I design contain less stuff and make it easier for owners to live within their means and to limit their environmental footprint. My apartment sleeps four people comfortably; I frequently have dinner parties for 12. My space is well-built, affordable and as functional as living spaces twice the size. As the guy who started TreeHugger.com, I sleep better knowing I’m not using more resources than I need. I have less — and enjoy more.
My space is small. My life is big.
Let me tell you something. Your "thoughtfully constructed" 420-square-foot space is not functional or comfortable for more than one person, nor is it "as functional as living spaces twice the size." Sure, maybe your 12 miserable dinner guests lie to you and say that they're comfortable--or, more likely, they're the types of uptight people who don't mind sitting ramrod-straight around an extendable dining table while clenching their sphincters. However, normal people who like to eat a big meal and then relax on the couch are fucking miserable. Just because you bought a bunch of lame shit when you were younger and now like to putter around in a tiny box folding and unfolding modular furniture doesn't mean you're saving the world from itself, in the same way that being in AA doesn't mean the rest of us can't keep drinking. I eat sandwiches bigger than your apartment, and that's the way I like it.
And that's not all that sucks about the future. Not only do we have to listen to rich minimalists who are wracked with buyer's remorse, but soon we're also going to be wearing disposable hats--at least according to this promotional email I received:
I hope all is well! A quick Veloce update: We have just launched our Superveloce Collection. The Superveloce Collection is the world's first disposable hat collection. We believe that single-use clothing is the wave of the future in terms of party attire. After conducting market research we discovered that our primary demographic purchases our hats for a specific reason-either a party, concert, or greek event. With this in mind, we concluded that the price point of our hat for these loyal customers may be a bit high. As such we created a single use line that is visually identical to our Partyme Collection, our most popular collection. We have launched with our two most popular colors, Electric Blue & Lime Green. Each hat is offered at the incredibly low price of $4.99. That is at least a 75% price reduction if compared to our regular lines. The new hats feature a more flexible brim, and even lighter weight crinkle taslan material. I've attached our line sheet with more information.
Hmmm, in the old days we used to call those "painter's caps." Oh, here's what the hats look like:
I haven't seen a model that humiliated since Wikipedia nonplussed bib shorts guy:
Wait, holy crap! Disposable bib shorts! I'd better get a Kickstarter going!
Perhaps the worst thing about the future though is how stupid road bikes have become, though a reader tells me you can now own this Specialized Venge Schmenge for "only" $6,100:
(Saddle pre-tilted for your convenience.)
Venge Pro full carbon race road bike - $6100 (vallejo / benicia)
PRICE REUCTION TO MOVE THIS BRAND NEW BIKE NOW!
This is THE 2012 Venge Pro full 10R race carbon road bike with 126 miles on it. She is a size 56cm, one month old and flawless!! She has full ultegra components with.... get this... the Ui2 electronic shifting. That alone with all the components wire harnesses programmer, battery, charger, etc is $1700 not installed. One of the coolest things about this shifting is not only can you shift under full load with no chain slap, but when shifting the rears it automatically trims the front derailers thus never rubbing. This is THE premier bike to own. Not only does it dominate in the time trials, but is crazy light at 16.5lbs. She has full one piece carbon aero bars with a removable carbon computer "T" extension tree, even the bar ends are carbon. The cranks are Fact Carbon, the forks.. Fact carbon, wheels are race carbon and balanced. This bike is so sweet and fast. Super stiff and all new ceramic bearings from the BB to the hubs and even the guide sprockets all have ceramic bearings. I am including a brand new set of Garmin race jersey and padded shorts along with the pictured Specialized set. I am even including a the set of Time iClick pedals and specialized carbon race shoes and cleats size 44.5.
The Venge pro is no longer being offered with all the goodines that this one has on it. She was a special order bike that I hate to see go, but I'm taking my skydiving to a whole new level and buying a BASE rig and upgrading my wingsuit and need the money which is why I am including ALL the other things, even extra tubes, the bottle and cage, shoes, shorts, jerseys, Giro carbon helmet, i click pedals and cleats even an extra stem and the original bars. Thanks for looking (707) three three4-35 six nine. I also have a Carbon Tarmac for sale here if you are just looking for a carbon roadbike that performs well and has new parts on it.
Yes, that's right, his loss is your gain, because he's committing all his disposable income towards becoming the biggest Sky Fred he can be. By the way, I had to look up "wingsuit," and here's what I found:
That's awesome. He looks like some kind of intergalactic space bishop.
Indeed, he's so desperate that he's including his disgusting used clothes:
And he's even using the latest in persuasive sales tactics, such as this cockpit shot complete with disembodied feet:
I'm pretty sure he's sporting the foot tattoo/anklet combo too:
As I understand it, you get a foot tattoo and an anklet free with your subscription to "Outside" magazine.
Anyway, I'm willing to bet this guy declares himself a minimalist in six months.
Lastly, as everybody knows, the trendy bicycle of the future is the so-called "fat bike," though if you prefer something a bit more "classic" for your snowy adventures then you could do worse than this contraption which was forwarded to me by another reader:
RALEIGH FRAMED PROFFESIONALY CONVERTED SNOW BIKE !!!
NOVALTY ITEM THAT I HAVE NO USE FOR THAT WAS FOUND IN A HOUSE CLEARANCE
IN VERY GOOD CONDITION
JUST ADD SNOW !!!
ITEM IS LOCATED IN THE THIRSK/YORK AREA
COLECTION IN PERSON ONLY
99P START COME GRAB A BARGAIN
UK BIDDERS ONLY PLEASE
Stem's a little long though.