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Mmmmm ... Diet Coke -

Addicted to Diet Soda? Reach for it before plain old Coke every time? Wondering why? Slavoj Zizek has an answer for you in a documentary called Zizek! - or rather, he has a question leading to many potential answers - he IS a philosopher after all. And here is my take on it:

Why is the diet soda so alluring?

The diet soda, in reality, is nothing. Bottled emptiness. Packaged, labeled, delivered ... air. Eternally unsatisfying and, as such, so desirable. This is a fist sized metaphor of why Capitalism is today, the world's superpower.

In this system, your Superego - tight-assed old crone - has put on the costume of your sweet unsociable and quite frightening little Id - your inner wolf. She has fooled you into thinking you might actually sustain your inner wild one with this two minute plastic extravagance all in the straight edged crisp environment of your thoroughly acceptable office.

Never once do you have to face old Cerberus in order to delve into the depths and satisfy a wild craving. Instead, you are offered a quick fix, an easy answer to your need to be un-metered. A decadence, ironically enjoyed only in a format as metered as it gets. Here, in happy packaging, you are invited to step momentarily from one tiny cage into a larger one.

Your superego grins and says 'Enjoy'.

And you continue to pace eternally.

Which begs the question. How else is this ruling my life? Not difficult to answer. As a fellow slave to Capitalist society, and - let's be real - to being human, I spend my days and nights riddled with fear and desire.

If I could only afford to transform myself into the new bohemian elf of 'Free People' catalogues, I could then impress my way into the perfect part time Design job with extra change enough to fill my CD case with the complete CD collection of the latest Indie greats which would become the soundtrack to a ground breaking body of paintings that would mesmerize human consciousness enough to send flow into my coffer enough to buy me a bank account large enough to end those panic thrills I suffer from at the idea of my daughter's life-time health insurance benefit limit running out by the time she is eight years old and because she is so eternally healthy perhaps she will grow to be a big rockstar and buy me an old-age free of rest homes and filled with my own home and garden and a lavendar scented bed to die in going peacefully, assured that I and my loved ones might ultimately escape, altogether, human suffering -

And in the eternal quest for the end of human suffering I perpetuate endless quiet suffering - the thing that keeps me wanting, desiring, envying, clutching, and above all, resenting myself into the depths of blackness.

I don't necessarily believe ...yet ... that we are a nation of fools. We are well aware, on the surface, that a shiny billboard pilgramage to Pleasantville is a myth of the grandest proportions.

But secretly, we pray in our beds nightly that we might find that ever elusive roadsign to absolute control of our destiny.

I mean - Brangelina is not doing so much harm to the world saving the orphans and buying villages and nature preserves now are they? And the better half of that equation is supposedly disgusted by world globalism. Except that twenty million for Tigers was stolen from Peter and Paul is very happy to have it back, thank you... So, is it simply good what they and other world Capitalism funded celebrities are up to - using the system to fix the damage produced by the gaping weaknesses in the system -

Or is it simply good enough for now?

My treadmill today is littered with the recurrence of one ringing question:

What would happen if I just - stepped off?

And more importantly -

How do I?

Something to puzzle over today at lunch - helped on by a frosty Diet Coke.

Artist: David Payton

11:31 a.m. - 2007-07-18


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