Trivial, Useless, Dangerous, and Smarmy: Downy Fabric Softener

downysmarmShe ought to be barfing in her sweater.

To see a textbook case of both commodity fetishism and the general sickness of corporate capitalism, keep an eye out for Procter & Gamble’s appalling “Feel More” marketing campaign on behalf of its Downy fabric softener brand.

The ads and promotions emerging from P & G’s campaign encourage people to interpret use of this trivial-at-best, ecologically inexcusable, and probably toxicologically dangerous product as an expression of and gateway to their deepest bonds and emotions.

Equally sick and preposterous is the campaign’s further suggestion that “fabric softener” is some kind of defense against the heightening ravages of the very investors-first system that foists this Earth- and health-endangering shit on us.

“With all the uncertainty around us today, it’s more important than ever for each of us to take solace and find pleasure in the simple things in life. Consumers have really resonated with our message,” said Marty Vanderstelt, brand manager for Downy North America.

You have to worry about the future of a culture in which the dominant behavioral influencers scientifically study ways to convince people that dumping chloroform, pentance, benzyl acetate, and dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate in your heated appliances and on your clothes is one of “the simple things in life.”

The Violence Inherent in the System

mva

In corporate capitalist America, cars-first transportation has always been unquestioned.  As a result, we have spent the largest part of the immense wealth that has flowed through our polarized, brutalized society in the last century building the vast automobile system with which we remain stuck.  It is by far the biggest, costliest public works project in human history — not even close.  It has always been devoted to serving its central purpose, too, which, contrary to long-running propaganda claims, has NOT been transportation, but rather maximum profit for business owners.

Yesterday, The New York Times published a story about new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Take a look at the video embedded in this story.  It is heart-stopping, at several levels.

This extreme violence is what we have been trained to accept as not just normal, but “an emblem of the American spirit” and a confirmation that capitalism is the best of all possible social systems.

It won’t be long before we recognize, one way or another, how very insane we’ve been, ecological, socially, and, yes, economically…

The main IIHS finding, by the way, goes unreported by the NYT:

The death rate in 1-3-year-old minicars in multiple-vehicle crashes during 2007 was almost twice as high as the rate in very large cars.  The death rate per million 1-3-year-old minis in single-vehicle crashes during 2007 was 35 compared with 11 per million for very large cars. Even in midsize cars, the death rate in single-vehicle crashes was 17 percent lower than in minicars.

The Gatekeeper Problem

gatedragon

In his new book, The Medea Hypothesis, archeologist Peter Ward points out that life can sometimes not only become its own worst enemy, but homo sapiens is now quite obviously acting as the epitome of this “Medea principle,” wildly wrecking its own biological pre-conditions.

At one point, while reviewing “deep ecology” and its argument in favor of preserving as much still-pristine natural habitat as possible, Ward asks:

Who could argue with that sentiment?  Conserve.  Who besides those beholden to business interests could argue with that one?

But there’s the rub, isn’t it?  Not only is our market-totalitarian overclass utterly opposed to the eco-social policies required for progressive human survival and avoidance of another planetary Medean catastrophe, but isn’t the real question which person who resides within a country mile of the levers of power is NOT beholden to business interests?

If we don’t change that arrangement very, very soon, Medea is going to finish cooking our last supper.

keymaster
Louis Tully, CPA, CKM

Alas, our current Chief Executive, despite election-time product packaging promising the contrary, is revealing himself to be yet another enthralled Keymaster laboring and blocking pitchforks for our still well-entrenched parasitical hyper-Medean extractor class…

Message to Business Class: Time to Abdicate!

Forgive my suspension of core sociological truisms here.  We know that, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “power concedes nothing without a demand,” and that, as Dr. King wrote in Birmingham City Jail, “privileged groups rarely give up their privileges without strong resistance.” We also know that we continue to lack even weak resistance.

Nonethless, in the wake of yet more mega-bonuses for the overseers of corporate capitalist devastation, it’s a worthy word for any future social movement against this decrepit overclass:

Abdicate!


You money-grubbers have had your chance. You and your system are done, failed, dead, out of chances and answers. Now, yield yourselves and your schemes to make way for economic democracy and ecological reconstruction. If we need your help, we’ll let you know.