Less is more? Society – Eddie Vedder

Not always, and not under all circumstances. In some cases it’s just a question of taste. In the future it might be a question of survival.

In his song “Society” (lyrics can be found here), written by Jerry Hannan, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam deals with the latter. You can watch the video on Youtube.

He describes a society in which “more” is one of the most prominent words of all:

We have a greed with which we have agreed

And you think you have to want more than you need

Until you have it all you won’t be free“.

That is, very briefly spoken, how our society and financial system works. Unless we are able to consume more, we won’t be satisfied. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But then again, there are doubts, too. You meet people who live differently, have different aims and criteria in life – and suddenly things are starting to change: “And when you think more than you want your thoughts begin to bleed. I think I need to find a bigger place because when you have more than you think you need more space.

The film “Into the Wild”, in which this song is featured, is about someone needing “more space”. A young man bids goodbye to his life in security and wealth and pursues his dream: he goes “into the wild”, to Alaska, to learn something about life in general and himself. The chorus is his farewell song:

Society, you’re a crazy breed. Hope you’re not lonely without me… Society, have mercy on me, hope you’re not angry if I disagree…

Nowadays there seems to be an alternative to this form of living the idea of “less-is-more”. In the US and elsewhere young people get rid of most of their belongings and try to live with 100 things or less, one of them being their laptop. Check out the website http://cultofless.com and help Kelly Sutton to get rid of some of his belongings ;-)….

A completely digitalized life might be less cluttered – whether it is more satisfying, I don’t know yet…

Anyway – there is certainly something to the idea of “less is more” and it requires a lot of rethinking:

There’s those thinking, more-or-less, less is more,

but if less is more, how you keeping score?

Means for every point you make, your level drops,

kinda like you’re starting from the top.

You can’t do that…”

Maybe the new urban minimalism isn’t for you, and you might not want to try the survival thing either.

But maybe there is something you want to reduce in your life, and be it only the amount of clothes in your closet? I think I’ll start with that right now….

What’s your choice? Less or more?


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