Redistribution and Pillow Fights

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How do our "things" create us?

What happens when a few have so much and so many have so little? A pillow fight.

As our world gets smaller, via new technologies (i.e. the internet, video technologies, cell phone capabilities, etc.) we begin to get a clearer view of how the “things” in our world are distributed. In America we created a middle class (which is a historically significant social step) and began thinking all things were fairly evenly distributed. Then Bono started blabbing about some country called “Africa” (later research revealed “Africa” to actually be a continent, consisting of many, very diverse countries) and we had a harder time feeling secure in how things in our world were distributed among the people of our world.
This isn’t something new. In fact, this was apparently an issue as long ago as Old Testament times. It was such an issue that in the bible God told the people of Israel that every 50 years they were going to “redistribute” all the things they had acquired over that time period. They were going to give back the lands they had bought from those who couldn’t afford to keep their land any more and they were going to wipe clean any debts. As it turns out, the people of Israel didn’t make it 50 years and never ended up redistributing. This has never been an easy task.

But what if instead of talking about land and wealth and power, we talked about pillows? And instead of war we talked about pillow fights? And the perpetrator was actually just a cute girl in a hoodie? Then we’d have Brian Savelson’s video for Band of Horses’ video “Is There a Ghost?”

After watching this video and thinking of how I sleep so comfortably most night, it’s hard not to wonder how the things I own have made me who I am… for better or worse. But that also gets me wondering how others’ lack of material possessions have made them who they are… again, for better or worse.

As our world gets smaller redistribution will become a larger topic of conversation, but that won’t make it any less difficult. Savelson speaks cryptically in this video (cryptically enough that many people have called the video “lame” or “boring”) but that might be the only way we can begin to deal with such larger and, frankly, personal issues as redistribution.