Friday, August 13, 2010

Consume or Be Consumed

A couple of hours ago, I did my weekly survival shopping and I couldn't help noticing the staff of the supermarket (the Crossroads one) and especially the phrase printed on the back of their work uniform:
Comment je peux vous aider à mieux consommer?
  ( fr. for How could I help you so you would consume better?)
 Well, the English translation might be a bit shady, here consume means eat, drink, use and all other regular activities you might have with their products. But I emphasize the use of this verb: with all the debates about reducing all sorts of consumption (energy, water, food...) and having a more responsible way of life, the Economy Bosses are still developing the idea of a consumption society. I mean they could have said: How could I help you so you would choose better?, but NO, our brain must be focused on consuming, on spending money in a mechanical manner.
I would go even further and point out alternative meanings of this verb which are: use up, deplete...
This could be, in fact, the next unfortunate step the human society has to take. But, I'm am not here to overthrow the system, because, sincerely, I don't know a better one, I just want to point out the more or less subliminal messaging. So my advice would be: keep the Machine going but be careful with that Warning indicator, it has to become the priority and replace the speedometer.

Something that has less to do with consumerism but more with velocity: why do people feel the need to slow down their walking pace or even stop in the middle of a way where there are no possibilities of passing them (like escalators, tight corners, door ways...); and I've noticed that the probability increases when you're in a hurry.

Off-topic no.2: Another stringent need of pedestrians is to spread out on bike paths even though the rest of the sidewalk is free, and often to got deaf at the same time; also, the more difficult to avoid they are, the slower they walk...


  1. that's cuz ppl are like sheep (yea i know it's pessimistic and diminutive but hell...); the early adopters are over the consumerism society, but the rest of the world is gonna take a hell of a lot more time;

    and the people do this silly things imho because they haven't developed the reflex of not doing it ( by being yelled at by their parents or run over by a bike for example :D)

  2. what do you mean by 'early adopters'? (btw, I agree with the non-developed reflex...I'll try to be more aggressive next time ;) )

  3. i was saying that when an ideea comes along some ppl get it and start to use, and the rest waits untill enough ppl adopt it; like electric cars and photovoltaics nowadays; theres a video on TED,

    that's just about what i know about this thing, but it's pretty logical if you think about it afterwards;