You know you’re headed for a consumer catastrophe of the capitalistic kind when you find yourself stuck in the supermarket, staring vacantly into the glass bowels of the fridge, mesmerized by the choice of milks on display. Goat? Almond? Hemp? Coconut? GMO free? Local? Organic?
This one’s more cultured. But then that one supports fair trade. Wow, look how small this cow’s carbon footprint is! It’s a veritable “ching chong cha” of ethical and nutritional debates, except you never know if Organic trumps Local for social consciousness or the Almond beats the Coconut for its anti-oxidant, pro vitality qualities? And there I thought the milk debate was just around low fat and full cream. Feeling a bit lactose intolerant now. Let’s just say you had me at Organic and lost me somewhere between the isle of Kombucha and the exotic jungle of thistle, nettle and anti chrome kettle teas.
It would help to come shopping with a “new age green age” dictionary or at least a healthy hippie, not the kind that shops at the medical marijuana stores off the back of his “glaucoma” prescription. Surely there’s an App for this?
Pic: De Beers… the American version
Luckily I have my own secret trump card, one that blasts through rocks and cuts through any paper scissors with just a slight of the hand. It’s called ZAR (South African Rand) and it has this magical ability to blast through marketing clutter and hone in like a drone on the core essential: price. In the supermarket of ideas, the cheap one always beats the ethical organic one when you are converting ZAR to USD. So I pick up my small bottle of cheap milk and hope that it wasn’t fed on GMO or bred to have FOMO. No one likes to drink the milk of an anxious cow.
I come out of the supermarket feeling like I’ve just been put “Survivor Supermarket” – a reality slash game show where unwitting contestants are put through the capitalistic ringer, much to the amusement of third world country folk the world over. Winners come out with a degree in instant decision making. Losers get put out to pasture to ruminate on philosophy, anthropology and other similarly useless economic activities.
I might be a loser of the economically challenged kind, which means I will probably be spending the next six weeks clipping coupons and buying travel gifts from Goodwill stores, but at least I can see these challenges for the systems they reference and the rules they allow me to question and poke fun at…from the outside of course.
This outsider is on her way to Burning Man in Nevada for the next 10 days. So you won’t catch me on cycber space until I return, one road trip and a mind-blowing experience later. So be patient and be prepared because you know I’m gonna bring you all the magic and madness in full colour, video and verbal imagery when i get dusted off.
Musing on Mark Twain’s apt quote” the coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco” and wondering if i will appreciate this quote more after a few days in the desert.