Tuesday, February 13, 2007

capitalism is a real heart-breaker. its no wonder that there are more psychological problems in the 'developed' world of heavy duty consumerism. in today's dog eat dog market, producers no longer aim at increasing demand, but propogating a need to consume, meaning feverish ads,visual and intellectual monopolization and shock-rockish cultural revolution. everywhere you go, you are surrounded by images and literature and opinion-whores that urge you to indulge. back home, your mind is still flooded by the idea; what you could be and how your life ought to be lived, if only you consumed a particular perfume, those thin-legged denims you saw on television or that jazzy new drug. they entered your head before you even started looking for the remote control.

the real icing on the advertising cake has been the commercialisation of emotions. in a world where you are surrounded by loneliness even in crowds, we are naturally all looking for an outlet to emote, a shoulder to depend on. when all the world is a walking teardrop, just waiting to explode, nothing sells like emotion. so we are sold our own biggest asset in shiny new packages-days: time. evry year, there is a new 'day' to celebrate something-a cause, a feeling,emotion. valentines day, mother's day, teacher's day, the list goes on. you wonder why they didnt just name 2007 the 'let's sell our soul to multi-nationals in an attempt to feel less lonely' year.

of course, if all the gift-wrapping and shopping mall bonhomie actually did something to ease that frown on your face, straighten those worry lines on your forehead, maybe we could have given the phenomenon some credit-unintentional, but appreciable, nevrthless. but as in any economy, the rich tend to get richer, and the poor poorer. with apologies to paul krugman, the trickle-down theory fails yet again. watching your favourite celebrity whisk his/her lover away to some tropical paradise to celebrate their love,on reality television, nothing less, doth not a lonely man happy make. if anything, you consume more alcohol, or junk food, or kleenex, as the case maybe, and wallow in the discontent of your own inabilities. the producers of the respective commodities of course laugh all the way to the bank.

does this rant have a point? i dont know. couple of things make sense though. after a disastrous trip to city centre to help my best friend pick up a gift for his girlfriend for valentines day, i have shamelessly jumped on the bandwagon. when evry mall plays rod stewart, and every street vendor comes running to know if u want to buy his roses, you can hardly help missing your own loved one. it doesnt help that she is no longer interested. so i checked the next best option: the 'shopping for the heart-broken' section- a video store in my case.

'High Fidelity' has been put on pause to conclude this piece with my favourite line from the novel/movie. I quote, "What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" The chicken or the egg, mr. hotshot advertising genius, the chicken or the egg?

2 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

You should read Adorno's The Culture Industry.

You're right about the commodification of practically every aspect of our lives. When did we get to that point when even our emotions were a product?

8:47 PM  
Blogger icy_highs said...

seems unavoidable somehow. i blame it on the death of rock n roll.the 80s is where we lost all semblance of reality.

9:09 AM  

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