Consumerism at its finest

by cielopop


I am strolling through the mall with some friends. This place offers hardly anything inspirational, it’s only a temple of bargains: “we would like to exchange a product of our smarts/time/resources for your money/time/energy; we hope you appreciate these, thank you, come again soon.” To some “sensitive” souls, as I had been just in the past few years — influenced by the principles of individuality, conservation, creativity — this would feel like a sin; but I soon realize that no one has ever been forced to exist in the market only as a consumer. There are two roles to play, two sides of the glass booth: you can be the seller or the buyer. If you feel repulsed by the thought of shopping, maybe your soul has dreams of selling. If you find the items in the malls to be appalling, perhaps you can offer much better services. You’ll need to do some soul-searching to find your unique gift for the world.

Searching for holiday gifts, we stopped by a few shops. I’m just tagging along. (Yea, I had to say that, to appease my EGO, and hopefully save the remnant of my reputation. I appreciate neither Crocs nor crass commercialism.) I do appreciate my friends’ efforts at providing for their relatives; I know that if they can afford to, they’d buy haute couture and fine things for themselves and everyone.

Looking at the merchandise triggered a flurry of ideas from my brain’s storage center, some of them being vague intuitions about the far-reaching effects of our financial miseducation, and others being rumors from conspiracy theorists claiming that we are deliberately being dumbed down, and that Program Sabotage starts in childhood, through Robots’ Education(TM), manufactured “cool factor” brought to us via the media, and it seems as if we’re all gullible enough to keep it that way for a long, long time.

The photo above showcases a cash cow, and the reptilian system is apparently milking the kids and their families. We have bags with holes that will have to be filled with the decorative charms, which are displayed under the bags. So. If you’re totally brainwashed or otherwise vain, you might feel that your bag isn’t pretty enough. Cash cow. Does commerce always have to feed vanity? And a sense of lack?

Up-and-coming independent youth have discussed among themselves that the best solution to this cultural dilemma is to establish enterpreneurial systems that are mindful of their effects on Earth and human health. I would like to be one of them.

p.s. I have shed off my aversion to “consumerism.” I look at it as incentive to be the best that I could be. The question does remain: “is it an absolutely necessary component of human society?” Even if it isn’t, I doubt that change will come overnight, so I might as well participate in an ethical and transformative way.