By creating all these options, the store undoubtedly had done a favor for customers with varied tastes and body types. However, by vastly expanding the range of choices, they had also created a new problem that needed to be solved. Before these options were available, a buyer like myself had to settle for an imperfect fit, but at least purchasing jeans was a five-minute affair. Now it was a complex decision in which I was forced to invest time, energy, and no small amount of self-doubt, anxiety, and dread.Get a grip, Barry! I feel like Barry I-just-want-normal-jeans Schwartz was the guy who inspired one of my favorite songs:
Buying jeans is a trivial matter, but it suggests a much larger theme we will pursue throughout this book, which is this: When people have no choice, life is almost unbearable. As the number of available choices increases, as it has in our consumer culture, the autonomy, control, and liberation this variety brings are powerful and But as the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannize.
That was linked to in the comments — by bagoh20 — over on the Obama and the Packers post:
When I think of Obama and sports I always am reminded of this video that Althouse showed quite a while back. I watch it ever now and then, and I don't know why.Why you watch it... or why Obama and sports reminds you of it? You watch it because it's so infectious. And comforting. And infectiously comforting, like friendly jeans. It reminds you of Obama and sports, I think, because you've had this picture in your head for so long: "Obama Celebrates Win By Riding Bike." He was a winner, about to coast downhill, and the regrettable jeans were the first foreshadowing of a failed presidency. He was not, as we'd thought, the hero. He was the man in Randy Normal Jeans. And then there are the dance moves:
They were so cool at the time, but now? I'm seeing Randy.