live in, and consumerism is geared towards to things; cultivating
a sense of immediacy, and a sense of need.
In order for us to want things--to feel as if our want is desperate
enough to be need--the marketing campaigns for everything are
geared towards our emotions. Tempting us to 'live for the moment'
(although not in the good or healthy sense of 'grab all that life has to
offer and say what needs to be said, but rather a self-destructive
brand of doing what feels good with no thought towards tomorrow
or repercussions or side-effects.)
Most products being sold are not things we need, and most are not
even things we would want without an artificial desire or demand
being crafted. Certainly, most are unhealthy for our bodies, minds,
|"Ooh, shiny! Want!"|
company, not the health or happiness of their purchasing public.
Colas and beer and sugar-laced treats and fat-filled fast food are all
promoted and marketed as a means of living life to the fullest, of being
'truly alive' in the here and now, of finding happiness, of being connected
to the public as a whole and similar friends in particular, and so much more.
The irony, of course, is that these live-fast promotions are sold with a
happy upswing attached, when in fact the ingesting of such products
is likely to lessen life expectancy as well as the quality of life being lived.
All the false promises (implied of otherwise) will not only not bring
about the desired coolness, happiness, sexiness, fitting in, or improved
outings that are associated with the companies' beer, cigarettes, food,
vacation, candidate, etc ad nauseum--but the sense of lacking that comes
from trying and failing to receive that high from consumption can be
There is intrinsically a sense of the notion that there must be something
wrong with the buyer (or the subscriber, or the participant) because there
is a definite sense of others having received the promise...of being happier
with their sex life, of being loved harder by people they desire, of
being made content, or having been satisfied by a meal/trip/purchase.
So often, we try again. And again. And always it's the idea...the false
promise of the 'next time' delivering what we thought would be included
this time around, that drives us in our quest.
An end to our disappointment. A sating of our lusts.
A quelling of our desire/needs, first intangible, now embedded.
Songs sell us on sweet and silly codependent love, glamorizing and
schmaltzing up something that is toxic and embarrassing. They also sell
us on the idea of easy sex being appealing, avoiding the emotional mine
field of that endeavor as well as the lifelong traumas of STDs, unwanted
pregnancies, and so on.
We live in a world that has 24 hour a day promotion of Big Portion/ High
Calorie/Greasy Mess/Low Nutrition/Easy Food with no qualms about
the other side of greedy profiteering; the epidemic of obesity, diabetes,
cancers, isolation, sedentary living,
We chase away our fear, our pain, our worry, our past, our selves with
any and every concoction that can alter the way we feel, rather than making
peace with what is. We are a nation of avoiders and runners and addicts
and consumers who are not at ease with our own thoughts and feelings.
And somewhere along the line, there has got to be a conscious decision
to stop joking about 'retail therapy' and 'eating our sorrow' and instead
a movement begin where we can sit and be loving and supportive to the
person we are and the life we live.
And question how long we want to keep engaging in the same actions with
But hey...if you get too upset about all this, you can always go 'treat'
yourself to an ice cream; I hear they chase away the blues like nobody's
A false promise of satisfaction that never results in such--the false hopes
we pursue are but momentary distraction, with long term consequences.