OCCUPY PRODUCT AND THE MIDTOWN ANTI-PROTEST LIFESTYLE

Posted by @ 11:25 am on October 28th, 2011
i remember my father crying at the dinner table during thanksgiving in the year 2006. he was telling me the world was fucked, telling me i had to sell my soul to make money. it was the only way, he said.
***
we were sitting together at the end of the large table, both with large glasses of scotch whisky. i’m not making this up. the glasses are in my parent’s house, in a display case above the painted italian dishes. they have sailboats on them.i don’t know exactly what he was feeling. i’m not sure why he told me what i thought i already knew. he was tired maybe. i do know his work had taken a lot from his body. his company had given him life and taken life away. maybe that’s why he was feeling that day.

now i’m in manhattan. 2300 miles away from that table. im working carefully and well, at job where i can turn poetry against people.

why did i come here? only because my father gave me no other option?

no. it’s more political than that.

i’m open to the option of selling my soul, but i want real human things in return. i want money i can spend on my life, i want time i can use for sex and food and natural pursuits. in a sense – i want to sell my soul to a devil, not a corporation. i want to go into a furnace, not a void.

i want to meet the dark mistress of old-world evil. i want to go into my senses and fail to make moral judgements. i want things easy and wide and narcotic. where is there better place to look for the devil than new york city?

i’m trying to occupy the soul of the free market. i’m trying to go inside the bad things america has done to itself, to see inside and make an honest guess about what can be done.

***

“It is as clear as noon-day, that man, by his industry, changes the forms of the materials furnished by Nature, in such a way as to make them useful to him. The form of wood, for instance, is altered, by making a table out of it. Yet, for all that, the table continues to be that common, every-day thing, wood. But, so soon as it steps forth as a commodity, it is changed into something transcendent. It not only stands with its feet on the ground, but, in relation to all other commodities, it stands on its head, and evolves out of its wooden brain grotesque ideas, far more wonderful than “table-turning” ever was.”

– Karl Marx, Capital Vol. 1, chapter 1 section 4

the commodity fetish is all around us and constantly draining the meaning from our lives, pushing away from us and into the products we become, through work.

advertising is about shape and color and movement; it is about animation. to be sold, products must dance on their own like people, like the table in marx’s example.

when i work i am moving my soul from my body into the products i help sell. this is the evil poetry. this is the doom literature of capitalism.

at work, i try to make things sing. i make bad products shine and glow. i add sex to things that are sexless. i give a voice to packaging and hollow houses of capital function. the job of a copywriter is to make everything feel slick and consequential, to make god talk through companies, to leverage mythology.

this is how fortunes are made from the consumption of the average american. this is how a modern values system is recycled, publicly, through media and purchase. a product is sold when it seems to achieve a value higher than is inherent it its physical properties. a product is sold when we give it a good story, when we give it a soul. when i write a product a soul. when i give a product my soul, through writing.

***

if we continue to legally believe that a corporation is a person, we may get closer to a reality where the an object can contain as much meaning as a human life – where a sum of money can contain all the beauty and grace of a woman or man.

we need to consider other options. we need to consider opportunities to value life relative to life. is there an alternative to digital fetish capitalism? if there are no other options, maybe we need to stop trying to be human. maybe we need to give up, to sell out completely, to fully invest in the emptying spiritual markets of this latest civilization.

desk 6003G
6th foor
200 5th avenue
new york city

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