Images are Reality – Zizek
consumption isn’t simply the taking in of objects, its the absorption of the product into our very being.
and so from one system it leaves to enter another system. the human system. humanity. we are consumers not because we can be, but because like some street-corner junkie, we ‘need’ to be.’
when you turn on a television and a commercial zips across your screen filled with images of a product that could make you smarter, slimmer, faster, beautiful, less hungry and so on and you go and purchase that product all to find that the product you experienced on television is not the product you are now holding in your hand. in the end, the chocolate bar, no matter how many less calories it might boast it has then a regular chocolate bar, is still just a chocolate bar. but what is going on here is not a simple purchase, but a narrative is beginning to feed itself into our very psyche’s.
this product and the very purchase of it is now starting to believe for us. and because we have learned so well to be consumers, we know no other way. well, that’s what the commercials want you to believe anyway. the irony is that no longer is the commercial selling the object to you but rather once the subconscious addiction occurs we then become the very product that is sold to the object. we become the product. we are the commodity.
we are now upholding the system of consumerism.
the only way to absolve ourselves is to begin consuming less and participating in a purchase as more aware humans. realizing that there is something sinister happening within our culture, that over time, relationships stop being about relationships and become about consumption.
facebook is one such place, where, although it might not be stated literally, it is a place for people consumption. when someone goes to your friend page and finds out ‘how many’ friends you might have, most make a judgement on the kind of person you are and might decide solely on that criteria whether or not you are worthy of their friendship.
this is not friendship.
this is a perverted connection of objects that is justified through the addiction of consumption. no longer are people-people, they are numbers and objects for our happiness. they then become the Big Other that frames our reality. in a sense, consumption becomes the deity we evangelize for. “more, more, more”…oh we might not consciously think such a credo. but even the thought of “less, less, less” is still thinking, “more, more, more”. think about it. the more time i spend on trying to eradicate the thought of more i am spending that much “more time” attempting to rid myself of such a machiavellian contraption.
this is the same with happiness. this is why ultimately, idealism fails because it is predicated on the notion that once we get to that next step or buy that next item or fall in love over and over that we will then be happy. and also, what does it mean to be happy? is it a fleeting chemical high we chase after, is it learning to fight through your circumstances no matter if there is a sign of the sun in sight? see commercials and ideas play on this notion of internal happiness, the more stuff we have the better off we are. but, i think agree with singer sarah mclachlan who once sang: the more we take, the less we become…
a step forward to be aware of our consumption. one major way to rewrite our story of consumption is the inverse of consumption itself – giving. to give is to receive.