Is there anything more beautiful than a handsomely typed page?
Hello. If you're reading this far, please bear the following in mind: the above and below posts are all *first drafts*. You might notice the odd typo or grammatically unsound sentence; the odd gnarly phrase. As these are all typewritten, I don't bother too much with correction or retyping. I like to keep things fresh and direct.But, in the above post, I could have inserted a line that clarifies or makes explicit the link between cheap crap Chinese products and the reduction or illusion of choice - the point of the article being that hard-core economic forces play the biggest role in determining what's on offer in any market, and that these roles are manifold and complicit with the consumer-baiting culture of retail. And that they point downward in quality and uniformity. I like to think of it not as a Freedom of Choice but the Freedom of Indifference - homogenous, samey products all equally bad and in the same quantities and with the same messages; and a sales culture of indifference in the consumer, who drives the whole venture with his malleable desires and purchases, but doesn't actually gain any greater satisfaction that way.Some of the ideas here are not new. But they're definitely part of the big con, the big sell, the big lifestyle dream and illusion of Free Choice.
Also, I was thinking how any critical light cast on consumer choice inevitably sounds like lame socialism (to some points of view). I was thinking of the Robin Williams character in Moscow on the Hudson - he's a Russian defecter overwhelmed by all the varieties of coffee available in an American supermarket - he faints. There's a whole gang of raging cliches about American freedoms in that movie - but it ends up making you feel hollow rather than priveleged. As in 'only a Russian would appreciate such freedom'. But again, it's a self-congratulatory con.
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