Just as I would, like a child that gazes upon the supermarket with wonder-filled eyes while armed with a shopping cart to call my own, I stepped through the welcoming retractable glass doors only to be slapped in the face by the cool breeze of dispossession.
Ah, such crude awakening! When will I ever learn to numb my senses to these shiny, neatly wrapped and priced temptations? With them piled high throughout the seemingly endless aisles of planograms of desires and wants, is there any room then left for needs? Moderation? Rationality?
“Excuse me while I go get them. I’d left them in the car. On purpose.”
I’d imagine myself with little limbs, tipped-toed with arms stretched yet still unable to reach that foreign, imported, 30 ringgit per box cereal. Though maybe inappropriate, the fresco painting of Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Adam does come to mind. Perhaps not the hand of God per se but in its place, consumerism. While on the other side, the immortalised hand of Adam (or mine), forever suspended in the vacuum of infinite dissatisfaction (with the usual box of Cheerios). You could say rationality (and my puny allowance) won one for the team, but I certainly did not feel like a winner.
Yes, thus is the cruel fate of consumers, as good as any plot for a Shakespearean tragedy. If MacBeth had ambition as his fatal flaw, I’d have the impulse to spend to match. But that is all there is to our similarity because unlike him, I choose to question the author (p.s. the capitalists, the system, the consumer culture etc.) and I choose not to concede to this fate. At least not without a fight.
Ultimately, in the rewriting of my own play, I set out as a millennial heroine navigating the raging seas of commodification, popular culture and consumer trends, sailing the ship of critical thoughts, and battling my demons of needless wants. Thus, I bid you come journey with me as I account my adventures in this little corner of the internet. Till then, I shall leave you with this refined quote.
“All the world’s a supermarket, and all the men and women merely shoppers”
Regret not getting the cereal I want.
Sources: giphy.com; TheConversation.com; italianrenaissance.org