This overclass is so dominant, so safe from criticism, they increasingly just directly tell you what to do, despite your own obvious conflicting interests:

Without delving into cell phones’ ruinous effects on the cognitive and behavioral dimensions of the social fabric, contrast that spot with the work of Chris Jordan.


Vance Packard* is spinning in his grave.

*Note also the typically insipid book description from Amazon:

The Waste Makers was the first book to probe the increasing commercialization of American life—the development of consumption for consumption’s sake.

“Consumption for consumption’s sake”? Um, no. Consumption for profit’s sake. It continues to amaze TCT how thoroughly the great sacred “consumption” doctrines remain safe from the slightest mental effort.

And how sad is it that the “progressive” publisher assigned the modern introduction to Packard’s classic to somebody unable or unwilling to mention the powers-that-be, let alone explain the basics of capitalism, i.e. the new Don Quixote [or is it catspaw?] known as Bill McKibben?

6 Replies to “Shamelessness”

  1. This post and the links sends the reader spinning into vortexes of utter incoherence- the comments on Jordan’s photos seem spawn from the jejeune ignorance of the Virgin ad copy, reflecting nothing but considerations of intransigent avariciousness – but in HD, with cute commenter photos, leaving nothing but the fine and beautiful nihilism that is in every taste of culture from now on. What could you or I say that would be of any consequence to the levels of production and relentless purchasing that is our human conduct?
    Only 65 years ago, in a once prosperous, once thoroughly middle-class, rapidly technologized analogue society to our own, that of post-World War II Germany, were the visions of anarcho-primitivists encountered in social actuality – no food, a Big Brother occupation, bombed out ruins for shelter, imputations of common guilt borne by all for the depredations of the military-industrial-political complex – and mass, continuing death across that country, though less in scale than in the millions of forcibly repatriated Russians sent to their murder, allegedly “post-war.”
    Is that the alternative vision to the hell of techno-pollution? Should we see that denuded, disease-infested, vanquished society as the looming future for us if we keep on the road to Virgin mobile heedless Gen X idiocracy? Yes, Germany became rebuilt into a tech and techno superpower, but there is no guarantee for the next turnaround to end in temporary glory.
    I have, of course, veered around in my own cognitive dissonance based on a TCT mini-tour, most likely to elicit a stray WTF??!! or two, but, hey, that’s what comments sections are for – a form of low, populist art.

  2. Michael, Thank you for posting this blatant piece of nonsense. (“VM Presents”)
    As a matter of fact, I find the content insulting. If I purchase a phone or a computer or whatever, I’ve had to work, strain, submit in order to get the money first. Work means effort and submission to (stated and implicit) work-place rules– even in the most benign work-place. Submission to the hierarchy of the workplace is always, in varying degrees, degrading. I have had jobs where even to publicly explicitly articulate the unspoken rules was regarded as an offense, a rebellion against the established order.

    I hasten to add that my current employer is relatively benign, and I would not to offend colleagues who themselves feel the pressure of the workplace, but outside of worker-owned cooperatives such as Mondragon, workplaces are just not democratic and not places where true autonomy or creativity are encouraged. So, this advert with its fantasy-world of easy replacement of hard-earned commodities is pure reality-denying propaganda.

    By the fantasy that we can all just throw something away and buy a newer, better version, this advert insults and demeans the actual work which we have to do to earn the money to buy the stuff.

    It saddens me to think that this sort of insulting fantasy is what some people refer to as “creative” when, in fact, it is very much the opposite—retrograde and restrained by the mechanisms of a capitalist society, simply re-shuffling the most barren and simplistic notions.

  3. Cool, just purchased a copy of The Waste Markers.

    By the way, Michael, have you considered making your book available in Kindle or Adobe Digital Editions form?

  4. Luis, my book is controlled by the publisher, University of Illinois Press, and they have done essentially nothing to promote it. But I will inquire, because it makes good sense. Thanks for the suggestion!

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