Art & Design, Books, Culture, Media

You Have Too Much Shit: the self-help book that tells it like it is

You Have Too Much Shit (book, 2014) ,Chris Thomas (1400x788)It’s incredible really. Here in the Western world, we love to buy stuff. Fancy stuff. Cheap stuff. Desirable stuff. Stuff that the marketers say will make our lives better.

Of course, it never does, does it? If it did, then we wouldn’t need to buy the next thing they come up with.

If you’ve had a Buddhist epiphany or you already live a life of simple, earthy pleasures, then you don’t need to read Chris Thomas’s blunt and humorous wake-up call, You Have Too Much Shit.

This short, self-help book seeks to give you a sharp jolt why don’t need all the crap stuff – those DVDs, the dozens of shoes piling up in your cupboard, the free stationary that’s all over your flat, et al – you have, through direct language presented in a crisp, sans-serif typeface. Best of all, he’s made it available to download for free – though, you can buy a physical copy or donate too.

As Thomas says, it’s all about time and space. Free yourself of your unnecessary possessions and you’ll be freer to experience new things, meet new people, find love – enjoy your life to the fullest.

These are sentiments I can concur with strongly having been going through my own much needed phase of decluttering. Sustainable living, and living more simply in general, is an ethos I recommend to all. (Perhaps I’ll have to write about the relationship between the media, marketing and the accumulation of stuff in future.)

A designer by trade, who studied BA Design at Goldsmiths University, Thomas strikes me as someone who delights in his work. He knows that good design is one of the things that can change people’s lives. That may mean communicating a message to you to ‘steer clear of danger’ or, in this case, chucking out that chip fryer you’ve never used.

In an age overflowing with messaging encouraging you to buy more clutter, Thomas’ little book of uncomfortable truths is unlikely to change the world. After all, that wouldn’t be good for GDP. But, for some, it might just be the kick up the backside en route to a simpler life.

Go on. Switch on Zero 7’s Simple Things and start freeing yourself from the tyranny of consumerism.

Image: Chris Thomas