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Thursday, 13 November 2008

God Bless America!

Did anyone see that show on Oprah Winfrey about the woman who had been hoarding everything in her house for 13 years? I've never seen anything like it and not because of the sheer volume of things that she collected over that period.

Her 11-bedroom house was wall-to-wall with every conceivable item, though being a woman, the vast majority as you can imagine, was taken up with clothes, shoes, and handbags. Despite its size, you could barely move in the house so cluttered was it with items, many of which hadn't even been taken out of their store wrappers. Even her three garages were completely jam-packed with stuff and could barely be opened because of this. Likewise her huge basement was full of household items, many never even touched from the day were first bought.It took a 10,000 square feet warehouse to store all the items once they were removed by Oprah's team amassing several tons of items in the process.What bothers me most though is not that she was sick and needed the help. (She didn't just need psychological help but medical help as well because, due to the lack of space, air couldn't circulate in the house which resulted in black fungus (the worst kind of fungus) and her's and her husband's health suffered as a consequence.) No, my problem is that here we have a woman who is clearly sick psychologically, and needs help, but who probably never missed a meal in her life (and she looked like she could easily afford to). If you can afford to live in such a large house, and can afford to continuously shop for items you don't need, you are obviously not someone who has any financial problems. Yet what was the result of all this?

Oprah, provided her with a world renowned psychologist, an expert in the area of hoarders like her, who counseled her back to normal health. Then she had her entire house, all 11 bedrooms + kitchen and dining areas (even the toilets) kitted out with the best furniture you could imagine, all free of charge?! Whoa! Wait a minute? She got a complete refurbishment of state-of-the-art furniture for what? Being a rich sick woman? I'm sorry but that's obscene! What about the millions in Dharfur or the Congo or a gazillion other places that don't even have a pot to piss in? Where's the justice in that?

This is one of my pet hates about Americans. They live way beyond their means; they have a Media that feeds them a daily diet of disinformation; they have greedy brokerage houses who not only bankrupt their own firms (Lehman Bros, Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac etc.)but in the same breath cause financial volatility around the world and then, when the shit hits the fan, they have well-meaning entrepreneurs who will happily bail them out in order for us to watch great TV. God Bless America!

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