In The New York Times Magazine: “Hoarders”

Posted by Rob Walker on December 19, 2009
Posted Under: Consumed

A TV reality series suggests the thin line between our national consumer frenzy — and psychopathology

…. Hoarding, he says, has “more to do with a person’s psyche than their taste in decorating.” Given how dark that psyche can be, why do people watch? Sharenow offers several reasons, from the visual wallop to the raw narrative drama. “There’s something kind of Joycean about watching a hoarder,” he continues. “You’re getting this incredibly deep picture of their entire existence in a way, through the objects and through the stuff they accumulate.” ….

It’s interesting then that “Hoarders” has found its audience now. In a sense, the show can be read as a metaphor for an entire culture that has lost perspective on the relative importance of things and desperately needs help.

Read the column in the December 20, 2009, New York Times Magazine, or here.

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