Consumed – Is Our Consumer Culture Leading to Disaster?

“We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra…”
 
 –Chuck Palahniuk
 
You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption 
 
“This is the postmodern desert inhabited by people who are, in effect, consuming themselves in the form of images and abstractions through which their desires, sense of identity, and memories are replicated and then sold back to them as products” 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

“We no longer live life. We consume it.” 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We have created a manic world nauseous with the pursuit of material wealth. Many also bear their cross of imagined deprivation, while their fellow human beings remain paralyzed by real poverty. We drown in the thick sweetness of our sensual excess, and our shameless opulence, while our discontent souls suffocate in the arid wasteland of spiritual deprivation.” 
 

 

 

 

“Mindful consumption is the object of this precept. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into the items that we consume every day, we will come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our bodies and our consciousness, showing ingratitude toward our ancestors, our parents, and future generations (66).” 
 

 

 
The mystical nature of American consumption accounts for its joylessness. We spend a great deal of time in stores, but if we don’t seem to take much pleasure in our buying, it’s because we’re engaged in the acts of sacrifice and self-definition. Abashed in the presence of expensive merchandise, we recognize ourselves … as suppliants admitted to a shrine.
 
 
The so-called consumer society and the politics of corporate capitalism have created a second nature of man which ties him libidinally and aggressively to the commodity form. The need for possessing, consuming, handling and constantly renewing the gadgets, devices, instruments, engines, offered to and imposed upon the people, for using these wares even at the danger of one’s own destruction, has become a “biological” need.
 

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