Now, more than ever, the phantasmagoric consumarketing machine is out to sell you things you don’t need faster than you can realize you don’t want them. “Planned obsolescence,” and design for speed of manufacture -not durability- means the objects breakdown faster, so you ‘need’ another one sooner, and hell why not get two so you’re never without? Most objects are not designed with reuse or recycling in mind, and not enough of us have the bandwidth to pay attention to the lifecycle of our things so sooner or later we will all be choking on microbeads and microparticles of elastane just like the fish and seabirds.
Meanwhile, entertainment is taking great advantage of the incredible multiplicity of media. This increased competition has really upped the narrative game. Though I pretty much don’t watch any of it, I believe the myriad of sources who tell me there are good stories all over the place, you just have to look. Looking often means, premium channels, paid streaming online services, or television obedience devices like Roku etc. This kind of boils down to: people are spending money on experience, storytelling, art; and they are spending it on opportunities to avoid the phantasmagoric consumarketing machine!
That’s almost 100% good news. The parade is rained upon only by the fact that entertainment begets things, and we’re absurdly fond of things. *Sigh* Please don’t buy that box set. Okay, I tried.
There’s one more piece of good/bad news, the one that got me started on this post actually. The Atlantic tells me that successful playwrights are writing for television and established television writers are writing for the stage. Apparently this is one of the reasons why more ‘really not too bad’ stuff is showing up in both media. It’s also a really obvious example of the great media Ouroboros! The folks who have made it get everything because now that they are established they are a safe bet for investors. Everybody (who already has a seat at the table) wins! And the folks who are trying to make it now have even fewer crumbs to nourish them while they hustle.
The Atlantic article brushes up against a number of issues that construct the glittering surround sound buckyball glass ceiling of mainstream success in the arts and media, but maybe later. For now:
- Consider going on a stuff diet. Lose some “things” weight this year.
- Buy an experience instead, but please pass on the physical souvenir.
- Nourish an artist, especially if it’s yourself.