A Tough Question

Was watching "Fight Club" the other night and in it Brad Pitt's character opines that you don't own your possessions, but your possessions own you. As applied to our hobby the question becomes, do you own your system, or does your system own you?

There have been times in my audiophile progression that my system has definitely had me be the short hairs, but as of late I've felt like I'm the one in control, at least most of the time. Basically, when I'm enjoying music, I'm on top. When I'm concentrating on the sound of the system, then the system has the upper hand. Unfortunately, my system generally sound quite good, but it's far from perfect and there's always something I know I could do to improve it's overall performance. As a result, I'm never sure where I stand. Do you know where you stand?
(it's only a movie)(it's only a movie)(it's only a movie), you are in control,you are in control,you are in control.............
Well duh!! It's obviously all of the above. I found that IKEA catalogue montage in the movie very intrugueing almost ingenius. Truly, the character that Edward Norton plays suffers from a type of dementia where only his own subconsciousness recognizes and instigates the self-preserving schizopherenia that blows everything up. However, I wouldn't say his stuff owns him, rather, his stuff IS him since it is his only outlet for expression.
so who's gonna survive at the end YOU or your POSSESSION?
Do You Hear Your System Talking To You???
Are you asked to take a bow in front of it upon entering the room each time?

As long as your not hearing voices, then you are in control!
It is normal to be passionate about your hobby, & upgrading certain things to your likes. I think every hobby has a period of growth, till your finally personally satisfied.


Seriously, You Are Sane! Yet if your having issues watching "Fight Club", I would recommend that you NEVER EVER view "A Little Shop Of Horrors"

Yikes...... FEED ME ONHWY61!!!!
Possessions don't own you, obsessions do. Since obsessions are yours to begin with, you essentially own yourself ;-)
The first rule of Fight Club is.............YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!!!!!
LMAO!!! Ben Campbell
Jesus Oz, that was damn good. Damn good.
In general posessions are hassle. The more you own the more trouble they'll give you. Fewer possessions == less stress. Identify those things that are important enough to warrant the hassle and own only those. Eschew all the other extraeneous possessions that advertisers will try to persuade you to buy because they will not make you happier, and may simply increase your stress level.

It took me years to learn this, and unfortunately I had already purchased a 1973 corvette by the time this realization really dawned. I have a love hate relationship with that car !
I have yet to be at a philes house, including mine, and not witness an "owner" on their hands and knees, in front of their stereo. Its a pathetic site, but everything you own has a piece of you, especially the stuff you value.
Seandtaylor99 older Corvettes are real HOT on Ebay Motors right now! Fewer possessions == less stress???
I know I'm in an extreme minority on this one, but I thought Fight Club was pretty lame from the standpoint of actual ideas, in essence a sort of dumbed down Jungianism. We're bound to have changing feelings about our 'stuff', especially stuff we've paid a lot money for, which (usually) brings us lots of joy, and which can also be a source of frustration (when it malfunctions).
If your system makes you less than happy, fix your attitude. A good way to do that is to listen to a 'consumer electronics' system. I assume that what you've got will kick its butt... We are so lucky to even be having this discussion, compared to the 90+% of the world living on under $2 day!
Thank y'all for your kind words of support. It's a thin line between passionate absorption in one's hobby vs. neurotic navel gazing, but I know I'm not the only who has stood in front of their electronics and wondered "oh system, why hath thou forsaken me?"
Onhwy61, I was in the same boat not too long ago. Here is my post from my Thread "Any 12 Step Programs To just QUIT" ???

When do you finally draw the LINE, in trying to build the Perfect Beast? I'm at the point where I'm in my UPS delivery guy's wedding party in August. I know more personal information about my Property Insurance Agent, then my Significant Other. My Doctor won't prescribe any more pain killers for my lower back? Honestly, this hobby/habit once under your skin has to be tougher to shake than......... Maybe Sam Telling is right all you need is $13.00 Acoustic Research interconnects from Best Buy? Gosh Darnit They're Sold Out!
Jane, how do you stop this Crazy Thing???

At times this hobby does seem to take over, like alcoholism. (Maybe?) When you get to the point of listening to every component with the points up & then down to see what sounds better.

This is AudioGone not AA (Audiophile Anoymous) yet there are some really great supportive users on here as well.

Before you hit the brink of madness, just back off, & just enjoy the music. This is why you built you system anyway?

And if you should go off the edge again we are here for you!
Ohhh good grief.

Its mine. All mine. My precious. PRECIOUUUSSssss.
I'm just worried that you're able to take "Fight Club" seriously in any way... ;^)
It's a gift to be simple. It's a gift to be free.

But if you owned the perfect system and there was nothing to improve upon, then what would you do with your time and money?
My response? Wait 6 months =:-)
I started my quest over 40 years ago. As I have said many times before,"the problem is in the power cords". It has taken that long to find the answer. The solution requires a radical new approach.
There is your phenomological answer right there... 40 yrs.. and it's the powercords.
Hey Corona--you are obviously a manufacturer. Why don't you lay your cards on the table instead of just bouncing around various threads making inane pronouncements in an attempt to tease your products?
The question was: Do you know where you stand?
I’ve made it my business to know. It is a very difficult problem; if you have a better solution I would like to know about it.
Yah Drubin, don't state the obvious.
Without question, I OWN THE POWER CORDS. All mine. Thats where I stand. But being Signalcable power cords, they are only semiprecious, since they didnt cost a ton.

I agree it is somewhat disturbing that "Fight Club" is providing a foundation for introspective philosophical debate.
I think some of us misunderstand the philosopher (Brad Pitt). That's a joke.

The issue is when we buy a 'thing' we now have the responsibilty to use it and care for it. When one buys a '73 Corvette they have to maintain it, they have to wash and polish it, they have to have a safe and clean environment in which to keep it. Time and money are involved in all of these things.

When a person buys a house their entire lifestyle changes. The lawn needs to be cut (requires the purchase of a mower) , the shrubs need trimming, the flowers need to be watered. It needs to be washed and cleaned inside and out. The snow needs to be shoveled. The bathroom needs to be remodeled, the fixtures need updating, the kitchen needs appliances. Don't even get me started about the listening room! All of these issues require lots of time and money.

When an audiophile (not a regular person, but an audiophile) buys a stereo system it is only the beginning. Everything will ultimately need to be replaced, the cable needs to be upgraded. The equipment rack is less than ideal. There is no perfect product so the carousel ride never ends. Then there is the constant need to add new and/or better software. All of these things require time and money.

The person who does not own the '73 Corvette, the house, or the stereo does not have to worry about all these issues. They can use their free time for other things that those previously mentioned might never have the time for considering. They of course will have other things that enslave them. So who owns who? Do you own your house or does it own you? Everything we have controls what we do with our time and money

I hate to admit it, but Brad Pitt is right.
Nrchy I firmly disagree. While I do agree complex sytems require both time and money to maintain, if you so desire. Its my TIME and my MONEY, and I can just as easily let the system fall into disorder, sell, or anything else I wish.

Clearly expending the two commodities, time and money, doesnt imply ownership. If so when I take the time to walk into Burger King and buy a hamburger, that hamburger now owns me. Athough I must admit I do feel a bit of weakness when confronted with a Wendy's Double Cheesburger. Anywho, where was I.

You cannot save time. A minute passes whether you are sitting on your bum or mowing the lawn. Time has no value in duration alone, it is what is accomplished during it that gives it value. It is clearly your time to give to the stereo, it neither demands or commands time. You can sum it up by saying that the time was valueless until you used it to diddle with your stereo. A purely retroactive value.

You cannot retain money. Sure you can put it in your pocket or in a bank. But its true value is only realized when spending it. Without the needs of others money is not worth the paper its printed on. Cliche but true. Money retained is in hopes that someone else will need or want something and you can transfer its implied value for their needs. So money in your pocket doesnt equal new ICs, some guy somewhere with some wire and connectors needs to feed his family, and your money is a convenient conveyance from wire and connectors to bread and milk. Either way, its departure doesnt imply ownership.

Well, thats my thoughts anyway. Let the "Fight Club" debate continue. At the very least, I am confident I own the Power cords.
Well said.

If a person buys a Corvette I don’t think you will find them installing bicycle wheels on the car; that would ruin the whole point of the design. Most audiophiles are looking for a technology that will get them closer to the sound of real music. When an additional expense is involved they must balance the cost of the improvement in relationship to the cost of the new product [technology]. If cost was the only issue than any plastic “boom box” would do.
At last, someone understands. Thank you Nrchy. Based upon the type of questions usually asked on this forum (i.e., my soundstage has collapsed, which PC works best with..., what's my next step? etc.) I have to believe that the typical audiophile is owned by their system. I'm not sure anything is wrong with that, but you should at least have the awareness to admit to it.

In my ideal life I would pare everything down to James Spader's mythical "one key" existence as he explained in "Sex, Lies & Videotape". But even with one key, I'd still have a nice stereo and music collection.
Corona, Only if they wanted to, regardless of ruined designs. I suggest you try reading my post again. To better understand, since my point may not have been saliant. Maybe you will see that pointing out "cost is an issue" is superfluos at best.

You guys can be "owned" by stereo's, cars, wives, or whatever. Not I.

I chose this hobby, unless someone can prove it chose me. I like it. Every single resource "it" consumes is by my hand alone, and "it" can end by my hand as well.
You have a valid point; I just missed it; one of those "senior" moments.
This is a light subject, there really is no right or wrong. I may have overstepped, getting to serious, and for that I apologize. Sometimes I get too wound up. I certainly understand we all feel enslaved by our desires from time to time.

I prefer a tough love approach =)
Distortion, nice phrasing. We are not owned by objects but by our intentions.

P.S. Thanks for the kind words Kublakhan
Distortion, that's like the alcoholic who says "I can stop drinking any time I want." Unless you stop there is no real reason to beleive that you can.

It is disengenuous to say you are not owned by your possesions, cars wives, homes. They are the controling factors in your life. The lawn must be mown. It is not a question of whether you want to mow it!

A person has obligations whether they choose to voice them or not. My wife does not demand quality time with me, since it is an implication of marriage.

I can deny my obligations but that does not change the reality of them. Your statement of ownership is true to a degree. There is no title deed involved in stereo ownership (for example) but by the place of priority given it, ownership is implied.

The Burger King hamburger does indeed own you as long as it is within the confines of your digestive tract. It should provide sustanence for your body, and thereby you are dependent on it. It is more likely though that you will have to fight of the debilitating effects of having eaten it! Then it really owns you, until your immune system finally defeats the hamburger.

You cannot 'bank' time. It will be spent. The issue is not whether you are owned, it is, by what are you owned???

By way of summary, I checked the listening room, and 'I' still own the power cords, or do they own me?
Good lord "alcoholism" is quite serious, surely you cant be comparing an audio hobby with "alcoholism."

Maybe I am wrong about the Hamburger, but until I start eating audio gear for sustenance, awww never mind.

Disengenious or not, you need to have a talk with my neighbor, he clearly isnt "owned" by his lawn. This time year you can barely make out his roofline through the jungle.

Maybe its a matter of "pride of ownership?" I take pride in alot of things, but ultimately my yard, house, stereo, and other material things, are reflective of me and the workand time that bestow upon them.
Distortion, I loved your last post. It made me laugh. Say "hi" to the neighbor if you ever see him again!
We can have different opinions and still share the same enjoyment!
Nrchy, I'll see him for a few weeks in october. Yunno that time when the grass is dying down but before the leaves fall, 'cause once they do, his place will be armpit deep in fallen foliage.
Wow, Guys this Thread is getting very Deep!
Maybe just a little too Funk Shui?
How can any exchange built upon the philosophical musings expoused in "Fight Club" not be deep? Deeper still, anyone who mentions of Feng Shui is still in the "Ikea" stage of their personal development.
The Burger King hamburger? Now there is a whole new perspective of ownership!

What happens if you purchase & consume this wonderful fast-food creation of chopped cow, which resides in your colon for 7 years. During this duration does the hamburger own you, or is it just a 7 year lease with option to buy?
I can’t believe there‘s a thread that has ANYTHING to do with Brad Pitt that has survived for 96 hours at Audiogon. Sort of like a thread here about the quality of Bose going for three months.

I thought it was called “Fight Club” because you secretly wished to be part of a club that could continually “punch out“ Brad Pitiful.

OK, so I don’t like him........had to get that out of my system. I don’t like mimes either. Maybe I should start a thread on movie stars that I hate, love, like and dislike.
Albertporter, Would you feel better if we all get together & hang Brad Pitt from a ceiling with chains like the Bose 901 fad? Gosh Brad's girlish screaming, might actually sound better that the Bose 901's reproduction of female vocals?
I think they overdubbed (using) his voice for the movie "Deliverance," right after they yelled:

"Squeal like a pig."
But hey, I really like Clint Eastwood.
Ditto that Al, I am going to watch "unforgiven" again as my girlfriend hasnt seen it.

I cant even remember that line from Brad P., I must admit that I dont remember much about that movie at all, except that I have zero interest in seeing it again.

Audiobug, If any appreciable amount of a Hamburger stayed in my colon for 7 years, I oughta have a 30 pound ball in there somewhere, 'cause I have consumed about a million of em. Thank goodness you dont retain anything from Ramen soup or I would have weighed 450 pounds by the time I graduated college.
I don't even think his mother would claim that Brad Pitt is in Mr. Eastwood's league, but Brad is a surprisingly likeable actor. I particularly like his work in "True Romance" and "Snatch". "The Unforgiven" is a great film. I like how in his later years Mr. Eastwood populates his films with first rate actors (Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, Richard Harris, Angelica Huston, etc.). It shows a real confidence in his own abilities.
Fight Club= Best movie EVER.

If you you don't like Fight Club you either haven't watched it close enough to understand it or you are scared to free your mind of all your flaming worldly crap.

Watch it a few times you will understand it and realize what it can do for your life. Why try to be perfect?

Why polish the brass on the Titanic? It's all going down anyway.

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, we are come from the same compost heap.

Our fathers are models for god, if our fathers bailed what does that tell you about god?

As much as it sucks, you can't deny these facts. And thats why...

Fight Club is my Bible

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, we are come from the same compost heap" Maybe, from a scientific point of view I suppose so. It is also apparent that this dung ball of a movie didnt roll far from that heap either. I prefer to look at it this way, it is a marvel that such complex life and emotion can rise from the lowly basal components. Undeniably a system which is greater than the sum of its parts.

"Watch it a few times you will understand it and realize what it can do for your life." Yes, it slices, it dices, and julienne’s, blah, blah. With very few exceptions (Mulholland Falls) do I need to watch a movie more than once "to understand it," and I am thankful for that.

"Our fathers are models for god, if our fathers bailed what does that tell you about god?" That whoever said our Fathers were models for God was wrong. Of course everything depends on what context "bailed" and “models” are used, and to what depth the “bailing” and “modeling” occurred. But I digress, even shallow has some depth by definition. So this will be a question of semantics. In my opinion it’s the cheesy pop-culture wording of this statement that ruins it. Not to mention that, chronologically speaking, it is completely perverse.

Director David Fincher has made some most excellent movies, “Seven,” also with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevan Spacey and “The Game” with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, are two that come to mind.

Just my opinion.
What a great debate this thread was for me. Looking back over the replies, I just wanted to say you guys truely do make this site what it is. Very intelligent and thought provoking with plenty of humor too. It is nice to get away from the humdrum of daily life. Thanks so much. I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season.