"If consumer culture were a separate individual and assessed
psychiatrically, its diagnosis would be criminal psychosis of the most
fiendish variety. But since its lunacy is agreed upon, we lap it up.
Like psychopathic dung beetles, we let future generations pay as we
roll up the latest cultural excretions, coming away with everything
except the love that faded as life became a romance with the appetites.
In a system that hawks selfishness, vanity and exhibitionism, we become
easily excited with the fake orgasm of trappings and tantalizations.
Once sold on ourselves, we can be wooed by the most impoverished of
ambitions, from ‘having it all’ and ‘living the dream’ right on down to
‘making it to the top’.
Conformity usually reassures, even when a
culture is morbidly sick. What makes our rampage so titillating is that
it is bound up with cultural heroism. Excess, over-indulgence,
over-consumption, dandyism, stylish indifference – all part of the act,
all trumpets of conquest, prosperity, success and ‘being somebody’."