Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It all starts with you

So here I go from extolling the virtues of virtual consumerism on Amazon and hyping my favorite TV show to beating the drum about this radical anti-consumerist tract. How can two such divergent sentiments possibly co-exist? Perhaps I’m not just a consumer or a radical, but an armchair rad-sumer (that was supposed to be funny, in print it just looks stupid, oh well).

More relevant than ever, The Revolution of Everyday Life, written by Raoul Vaneigem in the late 60s, is a far easier read than the similair work by Debord, The Society of the Spectacle. It attempts to dissect the complex web of consumerism that we’re all caught up in and provide a few pointers to what an authentic life looks like in the face of such a sophisticated and effective onslaught—an onslaught that amounts to a commoditization of human life. Call him a leftist, pinko, or whatever, his call for a return to a more spiritual approach to life seems ironic but is not. I think it’s just an example of how we all yearn for the same things, regardless of the stories we tell ourselves.

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