A nation of gluttons. You bet. If this is freedom, what exactly are we freeing ourselves from? We hoard goods and services like over-bloated squirrels, terrified that we'll never eat, shit, or love again. I don't know why we can't show some self-control. Why do we need to have more of everything, bigger and better, faster and louder? Why do we need to be so overwhelmed with having it all? Why can't we live within our means, within our budgets, within our income bracket? Have credit cards and greed made us an over-consuming batch of baboons? Will we all die in debt to credit card institutions? Will we die leaving behind so much pop culture crap that we won/t have any place to store it? All the museums will have millions of copies of "collectible" items that will be worth nothing. But perhaps the digital revolution is the best place to counter this trend.
Consider that all of your entertainment can be stored digitally on hard drives and servers in hidden, abandoned nuke silos. In the end, everything you want or need, from your stacks of CDs, DVDs, video games, books, journals, magazines to even your money, can be turned into binary code. (This is a serious boon for our ecology-compromised world. Think of all of the raw resources we can save.) Code that you donâ€™t even have to store on your own computer.
Everything you will ever need can be stored on one super-huge computer data center owned by BMG-EMI-TIMELIFE-UNIVERSAL (BETU), the mother of all mother entertainment corporations. The world will become one giant marketing market owned by one giant corporation with no peer. Every piece of disposable art you can watch and/or listen, and probably feel and smell, will be distributed to everyone on the very same day it is released -- after the mega-huge marketing push so that no corner of the globe, from Anchorage to Papua New Guinea, will be left untouched.
Ah, it will be a brave new world, a world without peer, a world without want. Our very own matrix of reality so finely tuned and distributed that we will be slaves to the corporate manifesto without even knowing it. Even your "closest" friends, all one million of them, will be served up to you from some hip social aggregator site where you can pretend to be who you're not. We are almost there already, save for the few artists that maintain their own manifestos and don't need an "exit" strategy once their website/craft becomes, god forbid, status quo.
No more collections, or crap jewelry, or fad diets, or QVC (well, unless it's owned by BETU). We will be without want, yet will have want, right at our fingertips, or voice commands, depending on your typing skills. Your mobile phone will be a miniature version of your home entertainment/commando post.
Yes, Culture Catch will have sold out to the big boys who got bought by the bigger boys and we will be the fat cats fondly remembering the way things were. Back when everything was democratized on the Web, when the little guys and gals had voices. Way back before the telecom and cable corporations lobbied Washington to let them charge for surfing the Web.
Yes, Sabrina (image above), BIGGER is better. You just have to pay for it.
Now if I could only find my pump!
Dusty Mr. Wright is the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and music. He is also a singer/songwriter who has released 3 solo CDs and a member of the folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was an agent at the William Morris Agency!
From our editor Steve Holtje:
My answer to your questions in the first paragraph is that it's bread and circuses, all designed to distract us from more important questions. After all, if we have the freedom to choose between Coke or Pepsi, between Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, between Ford and Chevy, then why would we even notice, much less worry about, the lack of choice at the polls? Candidates who might actually make a difference, such as Dennis Kucinich, are weeded out for us in advance so that by the time we actually vote for President, our choices are Bush and Kerry, as similar as Coke and Pepsi: both Yalies from upper-class families, both mediocre thinkers at best, both in favor of the Iraq war, both firmly wedded to the utterly unfair and onerous economic system of capitalism, but one sweeter than the other and with a more effective ad campaign.