Screaming Wind Language II: Conscription Consumerism
By Charles Dickey at Apr 19, 2008
The wind screams. Gulls dive. Surf surges and recedes, lapping time.
Meanwhile, in urbania, I am inside glass and plastic and brick and electromagnetic radiation permeates. Songs are everywhere, and they're nothing you haven't heard before: Poison, bluegrass, Louis Armstrong, Three Doors Down. A cabinet hangs on the wall, spilling and supporting a faux plant of waxy green plastic. The clock is displayed prominently. The studying girl wears earbuds to seal in her interior insulated world. My coffee cools. Sweet Dreams Are Made of This. Annie Lenox, not Marilyn Manson. Both.
In this experiment of living, the walls are painted a bumpy Canary Yellow. Electric outlets and light switches plug us all in and turn us on. Today the fraternities and sororities in this college town are outfitted in cloned clothing: each house displaying a baffling uniformity of commercialized expression. These young men and women have proudly made themselves homogenized products. They display themselves in outings downtown. To them, I look exotic in my beard and flannel and cute red and blue skullcap. They point me out to the group, snap pictures, and the tour continues on to the Next Whiskey Bar.
Stimulated by music, cheap food, and now coffee, what leaps of intellect will I make on the page today? Fuck it. The whole goal of writing, on some level, is to become a commodity. In this commodity culture, ideas and art don't reach anyone unless you sell them by striking oil at the right time, posing for the cameras and self-consciously appreciating your adoring fifteen minutes of fame.
I'm interested in eating bitter cherries. They taste real to me and fill my belly full. I eat greens and granola and beans and factory-processed cheese. My menu selections are recorded by a cash register. I go home and cook them until they are delicious. Later, I will excrete my waste into a toilet and personally push the handle of the toilet down, delivering my waste through engineered networks of pipes. Through this magical process my shit and piss mingles with the shit and piss of thousands. What human eyes see that mess? How is it processed? Clean water is a miracle.
We are denying nature, you and I, whether we approve of that or not. If we oppose the system, the Industry, we understand that they have put us all on private reservations modeled on the nuclear family unit. We understand also that education in this system leads to conscription. We recognize the inhuman horror of production and consumption, of salaries, of selling time for money. You and I, my friends, truly miss what consumerist society is missing. We feel that hole and feel the wind that whips and laments through it, confined to an unnatural space, a concrete canyon.