September 19, 2013 by John Crapper
Decrapulation: The practice of not buying crap you don’t need and getting rid of crap you don’t use.
Humans need a lot of stuff to live. The three big requirements for our survival are food, shelter and clothing. We depend on our economy to provide the consumer goods we need to meet these needs. These goods are made by the use of resources available to us that Earth provides. All good enough. Now, you say, tell me something I don’t know.
The Church of the Holy Shitters believes we suffer from a disease in our society called consumer diarrhea. This basically involves the super-consumption by individuals of goods and services way beyond what is needed for survival. When this disease is taken to its extreme form it takes on a pathological condition know as compulsive hoarding.
Compulsive hoarding (or pathological collecting) is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that would seemingly qualify as useless or without value. Society recognizes that this is a damaging condition for which treatment should be sought.
Super-consumerism is a condition, not as pathological as compulsive hoarding, but much more pervasive throughout our society. Paul Ehrlich made reference to this aspect or our society in a talk he gave at the:
ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Cairo, 5 -13 September 1994
TOO MANY RICH PEOPLE:
Weighing Relative Burdens on the Planet
The United States poses the most serious threat of all to human life support systems. It has a gigantic population, the third largest on Earth, more than a quarter of a billion people. Americans are superconsumers, and use inefficient technologies to feed their appetites. Each, on average, uses 11 kW of energy, twice as much as the average Japanese, more than three times as much as the average Spaniard, and over 100 times as much as an average Bangladeshi.
Our Church extolls our members to be aware of this super-consuming tendency and take steps to correct it and ultimately live a life of Soft and Fluffy Consumerism. In order to achieve this goal there are strategies we recommend to assist you. We package these strategies and put them into a process we call decrapulation.
When your body is constipated you take steps to get things flowing again. You will increase your intake of fiber, take a laxative, or in extreme cases you will resort to the use of the old-fashioned enema.
I can still see my mom preparing the hot water bag and unwinding the hose in preparation leading up to that procedure. I can remember the call to come sit on the toilet and the shiver it would send up my spine. I will never forget the insertion of the nozzle and the warm bloating feeling as I sat on the commode while the bag emptied into my anus. Then the wait before you were given permission to evacuate. Then at last the release and the relief when that permission finally came to let it rip!
But I digress. My point is when you have too much “stuff” inside your intestinal tract you take steps to relieve the pressure and reduce the “stuff” in order to bring the body back to a state of normalcy and regularity. We can draw lessons from this treatment and apply it to the treatment of the disease we call “consumer diarrhea”.
Why do we buy and store so much stuff anyway? Chalk it up to evolution. “Humans seem to be wired to acquire belongings” says Tim Kasser, PhD), psychology chair at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Dr. Kasser compares our tendency to acquire stuff to the obesity epidemic. He goes on to say:
Humans need to eat fatty foods to survive – but now there’s a vending machine down every hallway and a convenience store on the corner. Similarly, we still have our innate desire to acquire belongings, but now there are stores on every block, our houses are large and we live in an economic system that depends on people consuming, which amplifies that feeling that consumption is good.
He calls the urge to buy and own a kind of “retail therapy”. He explains that people like to shop and therefore it is used as a means to temporarily distract them from the stress in their lives. The trouble is it never really solves the underlying problems. You still have the problems but you also have more stuff!
People also tend to attach a great deal of emotional value to the stuff they have that is completely out of proportion to its actual useful value in their lives. Thus they tend to hoard the stuff they have and it accumulates over time as they continue to buy more. They become more crapulated.
Randy Frost, PhD, the co-author of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things has developed a treatment program for hoarding. His lessons can be applied to decrapulation.
Here are the steps he advises:
To stop buying shit you don’t need:
1. Stop buying and bringing home crap you don’t need.
2. Remind yourself of all the reasons you don’t need or want the item.
3. Divert yourself by doing something good for yourself like exercising, calling a friend.
4. Enjoy it at the store but leave it at the store. You don’t need to buy it.
5. Look don’t touch. Touching items is the first step to buying and owning.
To get rid of shit you don’t use:
1. Make a decluttering schedule.
2. Prepare yourself emotionally to say goodbye to stuff. Don’t think too much about it.
3. Set a timer for a block of time to declutter and stick to the task. Dr. Frost recommends 2 hours.
4. Get rid of it if you don’t use it but you say:
a. so-and-so gave it to me.
b. but it’s one of a kind.
c. but that’s from the time when….
d. but I might need it.
e. but it’s so gorgeous/pretty/attractive.
When you start the process of decluttering get three bags. One for stuff you’re going to toss, one for items to donate and one for items you’re not sure about. As the bags full up take them out of the room you’re working on so you can see your progress.
Practicing the strategies of decrapulation will aid you tremendously on your path to Soft and Fluffy Consumerism and to the full enlightenment, fulfillment and enjoyment of the Shitty Way of Life practiced by the members of the Church of the Holy Shitters.