Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Uncluttered Life

I've discovered something about myself that explains so much.  In fact, this is something that is universally true, at least as far as I can tell (not having taken world-wide polls or anything and basing my theory completely on personal experience and the entertainment industry).  The balance and distribution of power in the world now makes perfect sense to me.  It's all about feng shui.

Well, not specifically feng shui in the sense of everything being balanced, but certainly as it relates to space, design and decor. It is the difference between a shlub like me, and a highly-effective evil overlord. That difference is clutter.

I have to admit that I am drawn to old, Victorian-style houses.  Large rooms with darkly-stained wood trim and casements.  I would be perfectly happy in a parlor full of overstuffed chairs, velvet throw pillows, tapestries, fringed lamp shades and heavy drapes.  Oh go ahead, throw a huge braided rug in the middle of the floor, I will love it.  These kinds of rooms seem warm and secure, a place for people to feel insulated from the harsh world outside.  There are no sharp edges here, everything is soft, stuffed and covered in velvet.

I have decided that it is just this inclination that keeps me from wielding true power or achieving great status. Just compare this style with that of any famous evil overlord.

Take Dr, Evil, for instance, the super villain and arch-nemesis of Austin Powers.  Dr. Evil doesn't have comfy chairs or natural wooden tables, walls or surfaces.  Everything in his environment is clean, sharp, and utilitarian.  He doesn't have clutter.  In fact, if an underling begins to annoy Dr. Evil, or becomes a bit of clutter in his otherwise smooth-as-clockwork organization, Dr. Evil has no trouble disposing of him.  Even in the disposal of the offensive cluttering human, Dr. Evil doesn't abide mess or extra furniture.  He simply waves a hand and the offending underling's chair drops through the floor into an incinerating fire below.  What could be neater than that? There isn't even anything to throw away or sweep up. No clutter.

But evil overlords don't just exist in the movies.  Some of them are on television.  Take Simon Cowell, for instance.

Okay, so maybe you never thought of Simon Cowell as an evil overlord (or maybe you did), but he certainly meets the criteria.  First, he considers no opinion but his own to be of worth.  He is quick to dispose of people he finds annoying, unworthy, or unproductive in achieving Simon's personal goals. Simon can relegate people to their own personal oblivion with just a wave of his hand.  He holds the ultimate power over their futures. And if you do your research, you will find that Simon Cowell hates clutter.

Simon's house is all clean lines, mostly white furniture, walls, floors, tables, surfaces, etc.  Wherever you look, the house is white.  This isn't a problem for Simon, who says he bathes three times a day.  There is no clutter allowed.  His distaste for clutter has been cited as his main reason for never having children.  Children come with their own lifetime supply of clutter.

I will admit that sometimes I am drawn to these clean, open spaces that are kept an institutional white (hmmm, wonder if that is significant) but the feeling is short-lived.  For one thing, where would I sit?  I'd be afraid of getting the furniture dirty.  That may be the whole idea behind the white furniture without armrests - to keep anyone from feeling too comfortable.  An evil overlord has to keep on his toes.

And so what if evil overlords can demand excessive amounts of money to prevent them from blowing up the world or something equally sinister?  What are they going to spend the money on?  Just some more gadgets that drop their foes through floors into pits full of venomous snakes or something, or maybe invent some other weapon to threaten humanity and hold the world for ransom yet again.  It's a busy life, but a bit lonely.

Overall, I don't think I want to be an evil overlord.  Maybe it would be nice to have one of those uncluttered evil lairs for when you want to invite people over. Clean people, that is. People who won't track in clutter.

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