The abject horror of Mark Zuckerberg’s closet

February 5, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

Warning: The images and logic exposed herein are as chilling as they are heartbreaking. Take care. Shop wisely.

That billionaire supergeek Mark Zuckerberg dresses like a neglected doorknob, is not news. Every morning, we are told, the King of All Human Suffering Facebook reaches into the World’s Most Boring Closet and selects from any of a soldier’s row of identical gray T-shirts, pulling one from its lonely hangar, as faint screams are heard in the far distance.

Will he choose an identical gray hoodie to go over it? Your mind is already too exhausted to care.

But! Zuckerberg is a billionaire. His complete lack of discernable taste or style, his famous disregard for appearing in any way professional, refined or tangibly interesting is freely excused by the fact that money is spurting from his fingertips like bile from Donald Trump’s enormous facial pores. So he must be doing something right. Right?

Zuck's tweet set off a firestorm of terrified yawning.

Zuck’s tweet set off a firestorm of terrified yawning.

Maybe! Here is the adorable thinking, in all its flavorless splendor: It has been suggested that all those small decisions in life – what to wear, eat, drink, drive, the cut of your hair, whether or not to give a damn about beauty and love and mystery and why your skin is so pale it blinds small birds – these mundane decisions are actually draining vital life force, sapping essential decision-making prowess you could otherwise put toward, I don’t know, coding a new emoji app. Oh no!

If you’re as powerful and important as Zuck, those tiny decisions can suck power you can otherwise dedicate to your “mission” of changing the world and re-inventing the future – if by “future” you mean bizarre dystopian hellmouth of numb, droning insanity no one wants to fully imagine.

Ergo! By eliminating as much of this so-called “decision fatigue” as possible, by fully automating your life and your home (one of Zuckerberg’s “personal challenges” for 2016 is designing a Jarvis-like AI system to run his house) you free up precious mind-juice to encourage all of humanity to feel, I don’t know, even more furiously powerless to stop all the goddamn auto-play videos from clogging their news feeds. Awesome!

It’s one option. It’s also total nonsense. Obviously, putting a bit of thoughtful energy toward beauty, toward sensation, toward personal style can, much like caring about design, or wine, or architecture or art or dance or sex or the rustle of trees in the forest or the soft tumble of summer sunlight down the small of the female back, these can, in the right perspective, be rich with delight, jammed full of life and joy (also toxic amounts of vanity and waste, so caveat emptor).

Same shirt different day

You could even go so far as to say that making space and time for thoughtful personal care, for introspection, for surrounding yourself with beauty in everything from your choice of coffee tables and light switches to the feel of Ayurvedic oil on your skin, this soft kind of attention can actually serve as an antidote to the vicious Puritanical poison known as “getting more done.” You think?

Just a possibility. Reminds me of a simple teaching common to many spiritual traditions: The outer is a reflection of the inner. Which is to say, how you treat your body, your home, your bedroom, your physical manifestation lies in direct relation to how you treat and honor the inner Self. Home’s a mess? Body’s derelict and numbed out? Best to cover that thing in a gray T-shirt and get back to some “real” work? How very curious.

Hey, I know. It’s just a T-shirt. And let’s be clear. Nothing unusual about the Zuckerberg Way, per se. Science, organized religion, tech empires all enjoy this view, of seeing the body as but a pale pedestal of unpleasant meat upon which your Great Brain spins its genius. Best not to “waste” time on it.

You can still accomplish a tremendous amount in this mode. You can still, you know, change the world. You just might not have much by way of a conscious, reverential connection to it. Does it matter?

Read more here:: The abject horror of Mark Zuckerberg’s closet

Mark Morford

About Mark Morford