Creativity and Conspicuous Consumption

Auto Show-1

I’m not a car fan.

A car for me has always been essentially a convenience that gets me from one point to another and is a means of transportation. But that was NOT the prevailing opinion of the thousands that surrounded me this past week when Tom Middleton, my ministry assistant, and I took in the Los Angeles Auto Show.

This event is one of the largest in the world and it was an amazing educational experience. I came away with two conflicting emotions:

1. It’s incredibly difficult to understand and justify such conspicuous consumption. In a world where half of the people alive have never even used a telephone, here I was seeing and even sitting in some of the most exquisite (and expensive) vehicles ever produced. I experienced considerable emotional whiplash being surrounded by such luxury and extravagance while having been in places in the world where people are wondering where their next meal will come from. The mental juxtaposition of such extremes was jarring.

2. At the same time, the design, engineering, and creativity represented at this event was staggering. For those who are really into it, such an experience is like going to a Paris fashion show, an art gallery, or an opera. What is so amazing is that humankind—endowed with creativity as a result of the Imago Deicould produce such machines which are, in reality, works of art.

So how do I put it all together? I don’t know. I’m thinking about it. Regardless, thanks, Tom. It was a fascinating experience!

One Response to “Creativity and Conspicuous Consumption”

  1. Sean Michael Murphy Says:

    I like your perspective on this one. I’ve always felt like a car was a car…they get you from point A to point B…and the rest is just wrapping paper.

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