William Gass is a wee bit of a grump:
But if the comforts of mere enumeration are shallow and illusory, so are most comforts. ... [T]he top six illusory comforts are: a Sports Car, a Winning Team, Confession, a Savings Account, a Marriage License, a White-Collar Job, a Ranch House in the Suburbs.
From the essay I've Got a Little List, collected in Tests of Time.
Also, from Were There Anything in the World Worth Worship in the same collection:
Were there anything worthy of worship, then, we should ignore it; look at it, if we must, cockeyed; keep clear; never let on; invent no curses which employ and preserve its name; await the time when the vines of all our lives will grow over and hide it so it may lie safe like a city left empty and forgotten, silent inside us, solely in the deeps of us, so we might wonder about it like some wonder about Atlantis and, lost and alone, so it may remain worthy of worship, and a star shining in the midst of our dirty earth.Posted by Bill Stilwell at January 09, 2006 10:31 PM