The Hall Of Suits
“The reason I won’t — can’t — play a phonograph, is the rhythm of the record spinning around in relation to the position of the needle will match up with the rhythm of any given song no more than once, which, if you think about it, isn’t even once, if you think about it.”
Separating News from Television:
-DFW “E. Unibus Pluram”(….going on to say that the average sales pitch is almost always directed at the individual rather than the group; it is a well known fact among salespeople that the average consumer is more susceptible to their charms when singled out, separated from the herd.)
Advertising, since shifting to this “individual” tack (as opposed to the join-the-happy-smiling-group approach to advertising) has become all too successful; while pitching the idea of a consumer’s inherent uniqueness to their highly manufactured sense of individuality, they have created a whole generation of “specials;” Those who deserve more because they paid the price, made all the right moves, but, more insidiously, because they’ve merely shifted, as a consumer base, their fundamental cultural perceptions; from the “the group is where I belong” kind of individuality, to “I am the suit-wearing, beamer-driving, 6000-square-feet-owning protagonist.” In this imagined endowment others are simply the means to a given individual’s success. Obviously, this almost never happens. Sometimes (thank you, Jon Ronson), a grim reality catches up with those who would force their “success” through deferred payments into the abyss of a truly unsustainable future; finally they break down and rather than admit their failings, kill their family and then themselves; a largely American adult-male phenomenon, not to speak of the heady, sadomasochistic fate of most global financial powers and the politicians who love them.
And now we can start to see how our current political climate and social state has come to be. People feel completely disenfranchised from the reality they were promised. The real surprise to all of this is that HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE are even MORE susceptible to this mode of discontentment. This further compounds itself when these highly successful persons rally the common man; so as to successfully demonstrate a link, however fallacious, between discontented HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL CELEBRITIES, and a broken system.
Recently, (a few years ago) someone working for Coke stole their secret recipe and offered it up, ostensibly for money or position, to Pepsi. Pepsi promptly reported the theft and returned (or destroyed — although probably not because then where’s the proof) the formula to Coke in the spirit of Capitalistic Decency, citing the natural benefits inherent in a healthy competition within the context of an à la-free-trade global economy.
It is not unthinkable to consider this the manifestation of a sort of publicity stunt; a “wag the dog” scenario in which both Coke and Pepsi come out looking like sympathetic heroes in a renowned world of corporate cutthroat (in either capacity: an elaborate performance à la fall guy, or, more simply, the magnanimous response to a legitimate action). In any case, a bid to maintain public support amidst an ever-widening falling share price gap due largely to a general consumer mistrust of all-things-corporate, i.e., the burgeoning Eat-Local-Green-Natural ethos; a movement one may be enticed (and then hopefully forgiven) for believing the founding fathers of which — currently ginormous companies unto themselves — are Arizona Iced Tea, and Snapple (both probably owned by the same man) — An all-too-natural inference which begs the question: Does supplying the “right” image for the times — currently “modesty,” “attentiveness,” and “humility” — justify virtually unchecked growth and success?
Answer: when co-opted and then dominated by a singularly wealthy and successful elite (a condition often literally inborn), yes.
Conspiracy theories aside — including, but not limited to, collusion with the U.S. Government for obvious corporate trade-agreement reasons — The facts, as they were/are presented, are on their own of some interest:
An individual plotted his arc (yep) toward a uniquely successful conclusion. Multiply this kind of thinking by roughly 254 million, and you get a general sense of the amount of highly conditioned adult Americans there are out there (here), plotting their very own personal arcs (again, yes) toward a similarly envisaged end. Vision board, anyone?
In summation: Nature, that unravelling, mystically enshrouded flower, beckoning us ever onward and in, begging for our own complicit consumption, hypnotizing us with its subtle promise of pain-denying ecstasy; opening, ever opening…