Vs. More

Posted: October 9, 2011 in Behavior
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  I am besieged by “more.”  Everywhere I turn I see companies offering me more this, more that and, most importantly, more of the other.  We are force fed extras, made to want the newest, and overwhelmed with bigger and better.  And I, for one, am more tired of it than ever before.

I think the problem can best be summarized by the Batman movies of the nineties.  In 1989, Batman hit theaters and was a huge hit.  In this movie, the title character battled his nemesis – the Joker.  With visions of bat-dollars dancing in their heads, studio execs were quick to green light the sequel, and, three years later, Batman Returns arrived.  This time, the caped crusader had his hands full, fighting both the Penguin and Catwoman.  1995 saw the release of Batman Forever.  Now Batman was joined by the relatively useless Robin and together they faced Two Face and the Riddler.  Two years later we got Batman & Robin.  Clooney (radiating embarrassment) starred as Bruce Wayne and was joined by both Robin and Batgirl as they struggled to defeat Mr. Freeze, Bane and Poison Ivy.

Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin played by Arnold ...

Look, ma, I'm "acting."

It’s what I like to call the Batman Principle.  With each sequel, they felt the need to add more main characters.  More villains.  More protagonists.  More.  And, not surprisingly, each movie got progressively worse.  Culminating in a movie in which, for reasons I’ll never fully comprehend, the writers felt the need to give master thespian Arnold Schwarzenegger a terrible “ice” pun in every single line of dialogue.  (“Ice to see you!”  “Let’s kick some ice!” and the very strange and scientifically erroneous, “In this universe, there’s only one absolute – everything freezes!”)

And the Batman Principle is not just for movies.    Not happy with one patty on your burger?  Here’s two, three, do I hear four?  If your current laptop has certain features, you can bet the sequel will have twice as many.  Everything is louder, brighter, beyond and  extreme. 

I know this will sound crazy…but sometimes more is too much.  When purchasing my last cell phone plan, I referred the salesman to my phone usage history and demonstrated that I consistently used only a certain number of minutes per month.  Still, he tried to sell me a plan with MORE minutes for only a few extra dollars.  Who cares if you are only physically capable of drinking 36 ounces of a beverage – we’ll sell you a 48 ounce beverage for a ten cent discount!  That’s right, we’re so intent on giving you more that we’re willing to give it you for less.           

Well, I don’t need more anymore.  If some business, any business, were willing to offer me just the amount I needed instead of more…they’d have a customer for life.  I don’t want to be upsold, boosted, amped or blown out of proportion ever again.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I reduce the more?  I don’t know, but something must be done.  If we don’t act now, there’ll be no stopping it.  Soon teachers will be instructing our children that 2+2=5, hurray, it’s MORE!  I suppose it’s time to start emphasizing the power of minimalism.  Personally, I’m going to start by changing up all of the phrases that include this dreaded word.  From now on, I’ll point out the value of biting off less than you can chew.  And, let’s be honest, there is, primarily, only one way to skin a cat.  I know that I, for one, am less than meets the eye.  And who’s to say it can’t be the fewer the merrier?  And sometimes it’s okay to have smaller fish to fry.  That’s it.  I think that will do it.  Need I say less?

  1. angelina says:

    The more u have the better u feel about yourself. Thats what they want us to think. Not only can you have more of one thing you can now have more than your friends and neighbors. And yes the batman sequels stunk!

  2. Debbi says:

    I was going to leave a long comment about how much I enjoyed this post. But the less said, the better. Right? 🙂

  3. heathersnyder1 says:

    Less is more…unless it’s a gorgeous walk-in closet for dresses and shoes…then, more is FREAKIN’ FABULOUS! 🙂

    • Makya McBee says:

      Cool, I definitely appreciate the fact that my post vs. More has produced the fewest comments in weeks – for once, lack of participation is wildly appropriate.

      Angelina – I have to say this. I’m anti using “u” as an abbreviation for “you” – but if you’re going to do it, you should probably do it consistently. Other than that, you are precisely correct. The notion that more stuff will make you feel better about yourself is an ever-increasing dangerous way of thinking. U go girl.

      Debbi – Agreed. (Oh, I’m itching to type more…but I mustn’t contradict myself).

      Heather – I will have to do additional research to see if your walk-in closet exception holds true. But it sounds right.

      • heathersnyder1 says:

        The walk-in closet exception holds true…millions of women can attest to the fact. There has to be separate sections for dresses, jewelry, pocketbooks, hats, shoes, etc. Then you have to add the chaise longue in the middle of it all and a chandelier above. See…more is better! The rest of the rooms in the house can be much, much smaller, but the walk-in closet is the center of the universe and shall be treated as such.

  4. Lokyra Stone says:

    I felt your post needed more comments.

    My husband and I are going so far to the “less” side that we are currently building an outhouse on our newly acquired property. There is no running water yet, no electricity yet, and no house. yet. We begin building the cabin next week. (I am using the internets at my parents’ house.)

    I am a big proponent of the “Less is more but it’s still less and that’s good” theory. Except I have to agree with Heather Snyder about the walk in closet exception. It is written. It is law.

    • heathersnyder1 says:

      🙂 Thank you for agreeing with me on the closet exception, Lokyra.

      Also, congratulations to you and your husband on your newly acquired property. Good luck with the cabin building. 🙂

    • Makya McBee says:

      No running water…no electricity…no house…well…congratulations on your field. (I kid because I love, I grew up like that, in teepees and tents and barns and such…I’m more of an indoor plumbing guy now, but best of luck to you – enjoy)

      • Lokyra Stone says:

        @Heather- thank you very much! We got rained out today and yesterday, unfortunately. And our tent tried to flood last night.
        And walk-in closets, when done properly, are *always* exceptions to rules.

        @Makya- We will have running water soon, and a generator is available for urgencies.
        Right now we have too much running water. The sky needs a plumber.

  5. Laura4NYC says:

    Yes, the American idea of bigger, more, faster = not necessarily better! Nicely expressed in your words, Makya! You needn’t say less!

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