By Eric Yang
on 2.18.09

editor-bio-picDespite hearsay, I’ve been endeavoring to live a simpler life – relishing in what I feel are the basics. Good friends, good food, and good fun. Not the ever-prevalent desires to buy or impress that have held siege to many victims men this past decade. Somewhere, in the back of our minds, we all knew that it couldn’t last, right?

Some might say this plan is flawed. Surely a delicious steak prepared by oneself, a round of golf in the crisp morning air with some trash talking cronies, a sharp looking well-priced suit, a few hilarious YouTube videos, a Sports Illustrated (with Bar Rafaeli on the cover), a manly chair with book or laptop in hand, a sensible yet fun car, and the knowledge of a simple hand-written note’s power with the fairer sex aren’t enough. Can any man find comfort or happiness in these outrageous claims? My judgment must be flawed.

G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) – a condition often induced by product sites like Gear Patrol

I will play devil’s advocate and say these “basics” require money, as do a lot of the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome*) inducing products and services you see here on Gear Patrol. After all, cool and random are well… cool and random. As individual men though, we should pick and choose what it is that provides us satisfaction. Just because it’s published here doesn’t mean it’s 100% necessary for you (and we try, though not always successfully, to help filter some of that out).

Honestly, what’s the point in miring yourself in the rat race? You should pride yourself on the enjoyment, not the short-term high of owning or buying. Relish getting a bigger bang for your buck, learn more about how to do something, or doing something better – from there you’ll derive long-term satisfaction. Consequently, you should share those tips with your fellow men here at Gear Patrol (via comments or by emailing us). Luxury and conspicuous spending (subjective) will never disappear for good, but they are most certainly passé, at least for this guy.

The premise of Gear Patrol has always been to let men edit themselves by sharing their own knowledge in varying areas of expertise. We’re going to be adding more guys (and gals?) to the team to make that possible. The genius of the internet is that it gives us the flexibility to adjust and grow. We know that we make plenty of mistakes and we’ll be the first to admit and embrace them, but ultimately we learn more when you tell us what you want. It’s a conversation.

Recently, it became apparent in our poll that you wanted more coverage on Style & Grooming products, so we’re going to do just that. We’ll try and give it a more “real-world” perspective, as we do with everything else, too. Others will try to copy us, and we recognize that a lot of sites and people already do, which is fine (just know you read about it here first, ha). The one thing we ask is that you help us spread the word of Gear Patrol. Seriously, tell your buddies about us or use the tools we have built into our articles (like StumbleUpon) to spread the word. We rely on word of mouth (just like many men do with many things), so consider this a humble request. Email or IM them a link now, I’ll wait.

…shouldn’t the satisfaction of accomplishment be what propels us to advance ourselves?

If it sounds like I’m taking myself too seriously, I assure you I’m not. But times are tough; they’re tough as balls, actually. 7%+ of our fellow American’s are without jobs, but maybe its a sign that we’re getting back to reality and reliance on people who are smarter, not richer (not one in the same) – something I’m perfectly fine with. In all reality, I’m not going to completely stop spending money (and some say you shouldn’t either), but I will be taking measured steps before pulling out the AmEx, and I’ll most certainly be asking myself if its for one of the “basics.”

After all, shouldn’t the satisfaction of accomplishment and deserved-ness be what propels us to advance ourselves, not just the ability to afford the difference on a BMW 5 Series lease payment versus a 3 Series?

* Thanks R.A.

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