# # The Necessary Year - Day 6: Defining the Parameters (part 1)

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

The Necessary Year – Day 6: Defining the Parameters (part 1)


(this post is part of an aborted 1 year experiment in material abstinence I called The Necessary Year)



MerriamWebster’s online dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary”) defines it thusly:

both as an adjective:
1 a: of an inevitable nature : inescapable b (1): logically unavoidable (2): that cannot be denied without contradiction c: determined or produced by the previous condition of things d: compulsory
2: absolutely needed : required

and as a noun:
an indispensable item : essential

Other sources might tweedle the semantics slightly but I think these definitions capture the essence of the notion I was going for when I attached it to the word ‘year’ and began my quest towards … what exactly?

Perhaps it would be best to break down, in no particular order, what is truly necessary to remain alive (we’ll treat my state of being alive as given, as well as the fact that I have a basic environment in which to retain said state with a little luck and the proper choices):


I think that’s about it. Everything else is either related to maintaining these items, relative to a person’s particular state of being, or pure dross.

In order to maintain the three essentials I have listed above, an independent person will need quite a few other things.

In my present situation – a middle-aged man living in the United States during the early 21st century – there are cultural norms I bend to in order to remain at the level of social acceptability that has been determined as necessary by the circumstances and personal interpretation of my place in time.

So the first concession we need to make is that human beings are social creatures and will thus go to lengths to fit in with at least part of the herd because, for most of us, it is second nature to do so – and thus quite often perceived as a necessity.

And what, exactly, does this herd, my culture, ask of me?

Clothing, for one.

Being of a rather high-metabolism and hirsute, I would be a lot more comfortable most of the time if I could remain nearly if not totally naked, and I would certainly save a heckuva lot of time and money if this were an option -but it isn’t and thus I cannot.

Further, my present employer – as well as much of the society I live in – not only wants me to wear clothes but considers me more “serious” and “successful” when I wear a variety of nicer clothes, so it behooves me to not only have some clothing to ward off chills and stares but also to have a variety of it, not just the few scuzzy rags I tend to kick around the house in.

An employer. That’s right, I am not a street person, independently wealthy, or living somewhere out in the trees, off the grid, and digging for roots and grubs with a twig; I have decided to be what my culture deems a productive member by having a job, a situation that presents me with a whole other set of “necessities”.

(to be continued)

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply