Rendered Fat Content


" …to feed the needs you never genuinely had …"

I'm wondering what to call the kind of illusory examples I seem to be drenched with in my media-saturated world. I catch on that I'm supposed to sincerely want whatever's being advertised, whatever's being described, yet I know the ad and the description might only be best understood as examples of studious omission, contextless impossibility devoid of externality, a terribly alluring NuthinMuch at all. Have I become so suggestible that I swallow these seductions without catching on that they're cardboard cut-outs without the cardboard? It seems so sometimes. I understand that they tug at my heart strings. I'm supposed to want and I even do, sometimes. Other times, my heart aches as if I should be wanting but simply cannot. Someone left a Post-it® sticker on my screen door yesterday which reported that many of my neighbors have been replacing their windows, and I might want to seriously consider replacing mine, offering discounts I cannot afford to pass up. I moved the sticker to the front of my garage refrigerator so it can remind me what I'm supposed to really be wanting whenever I fetch myself a cold beer.

What IS going on here?
It's not just advertising. It some days seems that everyone's on the make. I'm bombarded with invitations from absolute strangers telling me how I really should want to be. Couldn't I be okay with who and what I already am? Must I pursue continuous improvement, a vacuous concept that seems to have shuttered more organizations than it's elevated? Must I always start with the end in mind? Can't I sometimes just muddle around until some acceptable ending emerges or presume myself to be engaged in a never-ending which does not rely upon a final chapter to derive its meaning? I already know that newer rarely turns out to be better, or if better, designed to be better for someone other than me. I was happy once, before the Messo inviting me to become happier tried to guide me into my better self.

I'm toying with the term Messo to describe these intrusions. They serve as unwanted guides, inhabiting a nether, neither-here-nor-there world, suggesting that I could inhabit that world, too. Rather than have an original idea, I could build on some exemplar idea. I could become a devotee of one party or another. I could quote and footnote. I could self-classify and then vilify all the unenlightened who've not yet made that fateful, life-changing decision to become a good partisan. Personal identity might only be possible through close association with some collective ground-fog of a more organized movement. Amplify your effectiveness by donating your identity today. Who do you want to be when you grow up? Did you grow up to become who you really wanted to become? It's never too late to take that courageous first step into authentic nothingness. Easy installment payment plan available for those who qualify, some income-restrictions required.

The Messo says so. It never stops promising. It never stops telling, sometimes reverting to yelling to try to convince me. How could I be so stupid, it seems to say, to let another day go by without beginning the journey to an ever better me? Everyone around me seems depressed these days. I hardly wonder why. Exhorted to become, always become, our psyches seem folded, spindled, and mutilated into sorry origami representations of themselves. Self, these artifacts seem to scream, never was out there. The advertisers don't care beyond the seduction, they simply exist to suck you in, hoping you'll form a habit, hopefully an addiction, to feed the needs you never genuinely had and to encourage those aspirations that were never yours to own.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want …"

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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