Last night’s episode of South Park was a staged intervention of Stan’s locker hoarding problem. Although Stan was sure it wasn’t a problem, once confronted with tossing his maggot-filled sandwich and rumpled old papers, his need for therapy became clear. Through the typical South Park comedic approach, we quickly see the phenomenon of hoarding reduced to mostly bullshit (the sheep herder as animal hoarder) but sometimes to traumatic events (Mr. Mackey can’t let go of his garbage because he was molested by Woodsy Owl during his childhood).
Now that hoarding has earned all of this media, it’s game on. But what was it called twenty years ago? Does it exist in third world countries where waste is not so readily available? Could the Biblical sheep herder as hoarder, although it sounds ridiculous, have existed in the newly post-nomadic world? Hoarding clearly interferes with the modern nomad lifestyle, especially given current federal aviation security measures. And in the end, it’s the uprooting that is both the source of and the forced end to my penchant for gathering useless things. I’ve somehow created a secure space out of the webbed surrounding of my things, but I’m cutting through them now out of firm belief that uprooting myself is good for me.