This was the mid-'80s, and here was a Zen Buddhist priest meticulously raking the gravel against a lurid neon backdrop of sudden affluence and an alarming amount of consumer waste, often un-used and in its original packaging.
Now, of course, we get it. We have been seduced by the easy acquisition of stuff, then oppressed by all our stuff as the economy contracted (and nearly collapsed in the U.S.) We realized the two-car-garage life was not for us and now we spend a lot of time and angst trying to figure out how to part with our stuff. We have been hoodwinked by marketers who prey on and play up our inadequacies, even inventing a highly lucrative shopping 'holiday', Cyber-Monday.
What is emerging is a conversation about what really matters, which inevitably concludes with 'experiences.' It would be nice to think this shared revelation is rooted in our own free will, but really, the marketers have shot themselves in the collective foot. A rampant, speculative real estate