Saturday, November 01, 2008

What's Next?

Although my Halloween, pumpkins carved by my kids (pretty damn good job too), a bonfire, fireworks, and tequila, was nothing like that featured in the Martha Stewart Living that found its way into my house, the cover's title Everything you need for a bewitching Halloween got me thinking: Do I need a magazine telling me what I need? More to the point: Do I need anyone telling me what I need? However, this is so much the case. Consumers have gotten used to seeing Christmas ornaments in stores, fliers, and magazines before Halloween has passed. Stores used to at least wait until it was over. Now there is a consumer treadmill: Aug. 15 = Halloween, Oct. 15 = Christmas, Jan. 15 = Valentine's, Feb. 15 = Easter, Mar. 15 = Spring, May 15 = Summer, July 15 = Back to School. This is no joke, fliers for school supplies do appear in July. So it seems that North Americans can no longer live in the present and now pass through seasons of discontent, e.g., I can't enjoy a summer day at the beach I need to get my child ready for school. This constant motion in life seems to be more conducive to panic, although it may be an illusion since people would probably clock similar evacuation times to those of yesteryear. Hysteria (it rhymes so nice with Listeria) does seem to spread faster. Phrases, such as "live in the moment," "quality time," and "dial down" linger in these panic infused days and three would be terrorists can change what liquids can be carried on an airplane.

Since extemporaneous living, e.g., Gary Busey on Entourage, seems unfeasible, it's probably best just to think for oneself; that is, think about where stuff comes from and why? In Noam Chomsky vein, question everything. If you ever ask, "Do marketers really think I'll fall for this?", know they do. I should note that I am not (entirely) down on Martha Stewart Living, I enjoy and use their recipes; the features on dried bone marrow and cocktails in chemistry flasks were also redeeming. Hopefully we'll have had an Obamaween this time next year.

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