Liberals, on the other hand, and affluent liberals in particular, don't have that. Our real religion, said Lang, is consumption. I thought of that tonight as I came across this photo essay by Brian Ulrich at the Mother Jones site, which was selected from his Copia project.
"In 2001, citizens were encouraged to take to the malls to boost the U.S. economy through shopping," he says, "thereby equating consumerism with patriotism. The Copia project, a direct response to that advice, is a long-term photographic examination of the peculiarities and complexities of the consumer-dominated culture in which we live."What's striking to me in these photos is the blankness in people's faces, and the desolation of the landscapes. This, to me, is the perfect metaphor for consumer culture. It's the cure to the disease that never quite delivers, and always leaves you wanting more.
Each weekend, it's my job to do the Costco run. I go with the girls, and they sit next to each other in the dual seat in the enormous shopping cart. They always seem to have a nice enough time of it. I'm used to the place. Its enormity doesn't seem odd anymore. What does feel strange is the overwhelming ennui I always see in my fellow shoppers.
Life is suffering said the Buddha. That's not news. But must it also be boredom and dissatisfaction? I don't think so.