The parades, light festivals, commercials, shows, and sales are all components of the greater consumer complex, showing us that nothing is so sacred as to be divorced of commercialization or free from advertising. It is so often overlooked because it is so prolific. Commercials enter the realm of the absurd and no longer inform us of the uses of a product but instead deliver a music video, comic sketch, or non sequitur to get us to remember the brand with no substantive understanding of what is being sold.
This is all that is hoped for, it is enough to plant the seed in the viewers mind. School buses carry logos and advertisements on their sides as children go to school. Applications across the internet spread various images and sound bites to keep us passively aware of needed products. As we drive to work billboards bombard us on every side. It appears there are few refuges to shield us from the latest consumer craze.
We do not know what is in our food, we do not know how our most cherished gadgets operate, we do not know who whispers in our elected officials’ ears, we do not know what is in the drugs our doctor prescribes us, we do not know where our clothes are from, we do not know how many have to die and suffer to prop up our way of life. We are not sure, if given the chance, if we could part with it. Is possible that we do not deserve it and gained our position from dumb luck? Objective circumstances pertaining to resources and industrial advancement? Maybe.
All of this points to the power of the industrial system, our modern society. We are no longer active participants in many of the functions of our daily life. In many cases we are utterly dependent on the flow and continuation of this system just to survive. Despite all the love for freedom and the promotion of the hard work ethic there still exists a life of confusion and hardship even for those in fortunate countries because for now… this is it.