Just Buy It

It goes something like this: You can't help wanting Nike sneakers. At the same time, the desire to smash the windows of NikeTown makes sense, too. Not because Nike sneakers are bad, or because they are manufactured in Third World countries by slave-wage labor, but on the more general principle that someone should be held responsible for the feelings of absence and compulsion that overwhelm us all at some point or another in our lives and that are not our fault, or even the fault of our parents. Rather, they are the products of the addictive vacuum that has manifested itself through the combined energies of millions of flickering cathode-ray tubes and flat LCD screens and soothing advertisements whose carefully screened and focus-grouped vocabularies and images have insinuated themselves into the weave of generational unconsciousness almost since birth. These advertisements-of children swimming and laughing in the Technicolor playgrounds of Aetna, and of twenty-somethings swing-dancing for the Gap-are powerful magnets for human desires, for health, human companionship, good times, and eternal consolation.

Advertisements are our secular prayers. And when our prayers aren't answered, the spiritual energies released by so many unmet desires focused on a single photograph or frame of film can result in a kind of corporate-sponsored low-pressure system, a Bermuda Triangle of the emotions whose human inhabitants feel abandoned and alone.

-David Samuels, "Notes From Underground", Only Love Can Break Your Heart

2 comments:

mikey said...

I don't want Nike sneakers. What is wrong with me?!

Blogagaard said...

I don't even know where to start on that one, Mike.

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