Blog of a Million Dreams

Monday, January 10, 2011

Made By Hand

or "Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World" by Mark Frauenfelder. Also known as blogmaster for

I like to make things so I thought I'd read his book. Especially after I just finished Cathy Erway's book, "The Art of Eating In".

I was thrilled to learn he raised chickens because I've wanted to do that for awhile. And the jacket cover mentions something about how he knitted clothes, although I read the book cover to cover and never saw anything related to knitting in it.

Mark starts off by describing his lifestyle prior to the economic meltdown. And I couldn't get beyond the fact that he said that he and his wife bought a new computer every four months. Is that for real? Does he have any idea how I've always scrimped and save for my new computers (I've had three in the past 15 years). I wanted to reach through the book and wring his neck. And yes, computers might have been for his livelihood, but I also work with computers for my livelihood and could never, ever dream of getting a new computer every 4 months...that's just...wasteful...

I swallowed my anger and angst and, yes, disgust and read further.

Mark decided to move to some island with his dependent wife and two children. They seemed to be typical yuppies (although aspired to have more substance) and, of course, made few friends on their remote island. Of course no one wanted to be their friends. They moved to a semi-third world island and kept their pretentious, over entitled lifestyle and couldn't figure out why no one liked them.

I think Mark and his wife, Carla, did get a clue, however, and moved back to Los Angeles, where they were originally from. In L.A., they garden (or he does, I don't think she enjoys the 'gettin' back to basics' lifestyle...), destroy their lawn on purpose, raise vegetables, chickens, bees and kids...kind of...

I do understand what Mark is getting at...there is a sense of satisfaction in making your own life, shaping it, building it. And we lose that sense when we work for a corporate monstrosity...we love the sense of control over our lives, creativity and hope.

So I encourage others to read his book...despite his lack of shame at the pure, unadulterated yuppiness of who he is.


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