“I’m not your magazine
I’m not your television
I’m not your movie screen
I’m not commodity
I’m not commodity
I’m not commodity”
Like all good little boys raised in the Consumer Society, I was taught to have needs that only capitalism can fulfill. I’m a rational human being free to choose the best detergent, the best cell phone data plan, the best sexual partner. If I work hard enough I can be the Best Me.
We all buy into the myth of purchasing power. You are what you want. You want more. You can have more, and when that’s not enough try having more.
But I don’t know myself in the first place. I have vague ideas, but as Baudrillard writes, “I am definitively other.”
People are mysteries to me, but I’m divided in my own body, my own mind—a mystery to myself. The Consumer Society sees me as a product to be bought and sold, optimized, cleansed of impurities. I must exercise. I must have a family. I must shop incessantly.
I see myself as a commodity because that’s how you see me, and how you see yourself. But deep down I know things aren’t so bleak. There are brief moments when I find self-worth beyond my net worth.
Laughing through tears, Freudian slips, smiling at strangers, falling in love—these are acts of defiance. To admit I’m vulnerable, and recognize your vulnerability as my own—there’s no greater gift than connecting, person to person.
Tonight a therapist evaluated me for an anxiety group I’ll be participating in soon. Towards the end of the ninety-minute session we reached the strengths/obstacles portion of the assessment. I was presented with a set of statements such as: (1) “I understand my illness and how to cope” (strength); and (2) “I’m not clear how my illness affects me and struggle to cope” (obstacle). My task was to indicate whether I agreed with the first statement or the second. But I was also free to go down the middle and say, “Both are true for me right now.”
“Decision-making,” the therapist said. “I am comfortable making decisions, or I am often indecisive.”
I thought for a moment. “Both,” I said. “It depends on the situation.”
With a laugh the therapist replied, “That’s something an indecisive person would say.”
After Obama took away my guns, I sobered up, hopped in my truck and went straight to Walmart to reload. I’m a family man, after all.
My cell phone’s a weapon too. I text militia buddies between tactical drills in my backyard, posing for selfies in my finest fatigues.
Imagine both in one convenient package: the cell phone gun. Shit just got real.
Cell phone guns would have all the killer apps. Folks could sign up for the Don’t Tread On Me plan, brought to you by your independent concealed-carry mobile carrier.
Cue Wayne LaPierre, the voice of the NRA: Act now. Before Hillary assumes the throne.