This article was first posted on 13 March, 2012. Given that we are just about to launch into Adelaide’s silly season again, this is a timely reminder that less is more, even though more seems better at the time!
Adelaide, my home town, is a hive of activity in February and March. For readers who live interstate and overseas, we host the Adelaide Fringe, the Adelaide Festival, the Cabaret Fringe and Writers’ Week. Not to mention various gigs, including WOMAD, and a sporting event or three. I read somewhere (years ago) that Adelaide is like a binge-drinking teenager lurching from one party to the next during this time. This is an apt description. We aren’t called the Festival City for nothing.
But shouldn’t we be known for things other than just being a tired teenager sporting a massive hangover for a couple of months? I know that this time is peak for tourism, with artists and audience alike pouring squillions into the South Australian economy. At the risk of being labelled unSouth Australian, I’d like to suggest, though, that we spread all this fun stuff out over the year.
Because, just between you and me, apart from the shows I review for Adelaide Art Beat, I don’t go to anything. There is literally too much choice. And in one very short time frame, so I can’t make a decision. One of the nice things about being a reviewer is that the decision is largely made for me about which shows I get to go to. Sure, I have some say at the beginning, but the field is narrow. And therefore, it’s much easier to decide which shows I see.
And I’m thinking this could be a metaphor for life. In the west, we live in a culture where we have choice. Lots of it. What to buy, see, read, own, eat, have, do, live, drive, work, marry. Everywhere, we are forced to make decisions and choices. I’m not convinced that this is necessarily a good thing. But I’m not advocating that we should have no choice. Just less.
You see, I have a feeling that less does equal more. Less choice means fewer decisions. This adds up to less stress and much less complication. A simpler life. Fewer choices means I can concentrate on the things I truly enjoy. Like photography. Writing. Blogging. Watching excellent TV. Reading really good books. Time with people whose company I savour. Travel.
Less is more. What’s not to like about that?