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.
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?