Why I left minimalism behind

I knew something was afoot. I was searching for a domain name for a new online class I am preparing.

It is about streamlining your publishing business and putting it on autopilot.

I wanted to share what I have learned from over twenty years as a digital publisher.

But something didn’t feel right. I knew that by positioning myself within the minimalist movement that I would have a well defined audience to target.

Minimalism was an easy audience to define as it fits in with a lot of my own lifestyle philosophy and thinking.

I’ve been into simple living and minimalism since the 1980s, when friends would joke I was a material anorexic.

There’s just one problem. What if Minimalism went out of fashion? I had fallen for aligning myself with a trend. And all trends die eventually. Sometimes with an extreme backlash.

I was getting the sense this was soon to happen to Minimalism.

There were other things about the Minimalist movement that didn’t sit comfortably with me.

A huge part of its membership are the squeaky clean, whiter than white faith-based church goers. Especially in America.

That’s a tough one, as it feels like the movement has been taken over by a religion I have no time for.

I am a heathen who once upon a time started to train to be a priest.

I was even pulled out of the group and given special attention as I seemed (at the time) to have a unique understanding of spiritual practice and had developed insight.

So I know a thing or two about Christianity and its manipulation of the masses.

The other thing that kept triggering me were the numerous social media influencers, YouTube videos etc., showcasing very white, privileged people floating around in insipid coloured linen clothing, and living their best selves. Whatever ‘be your best self’ means?

Red flags were getting raised in increasing amounts as I explored the movement more.

Showcasing a fake lifestyle is an abhorrence to the my punk aesthetic.

Punk is as honest as it gets. If you are furious express fury. As Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols said: ‘Anger is an energy’.

Punk is an honest expression of what it is to be human. It doesn’t try and fake how it feels in the moment.

It is an engaged, embodied way of living life. And its art, music, politics and attitude to the world express this.

Punk also doesn’t look to any external authority. So the idea of embedding myself into a movement that now borders on a religious fellowship. Well. I just can’t do it. However many compassion hats I might try and wear.

Just like war, religion is an abomination.

I’m saddened by this. After all I have lived and chosen a simple life since my teens.

I was deeply inspired by the Shakers and Amish (religious sentiments aside), back to the land hippies, outlier fringe dwellers, iconoclasts and other counter-culture rascals.

What was once wholesome and rich, has again, been co-opted by the status quo and turned into a lifestyle commodity. To fleece the gullible for as much cash as can be extracted from them.

It is very, very rare to find non white folks represented in the Minimalist movement.

It’s just so flipping white!

Just take a look at the Instagram accounts and you’d think everyone was a fucking angel.

All wispy, floaty white. I won’t be surprised if the influencers don’t soon rig the lighting to give themselves a halo effect.