mass-marketed meaning

today i felt like a tourist in my own country.

toronto’s metallic sky scrapers begged me to snap photos of the colossal mess…

tall towers of empty dollars, reaching desperately for heaven, unaware of their loneliness.

culture slapped me in the face again when i stepped into Square One — a super mall.

people rushing, plastic bags in hand, eyes glazed, needing, wanting, determined to further the cash-cycle by adding one more swoosh to their sleeves.

i stood in the sea of zoned faces, desperately seeking some soul. all i found were branded humans, each looking much like the other, certain that meaning could be bought.

then it struck me: i’ve become an outsider. i no longer fit.

with my new ideologies on fast food (evil) and giant corporations (evil) malls no longer hold any appeal whatsoever.

so i turned and walked away from the beehive of mass-marketed shoppers: saddened by these oblivious pawns.

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3 Comments

  1. Annie Skelton said,

    June 9, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    I too have been that outsider, Em – giant moves through childhood, homeschooling, living in Canada 4 years, graduating with a different senior class, an English major bound for Vet School, involved in a Spanish-speaking church for 3 years… It makes one look in on things, observe people with a certain detachment, albeit interest. Good for perceptiveness and discernment, not always so good for vulnerable connections and belonging. I see these symptoms of disease in our culture, but find they point to a deeper diagnosis – the sinfulness of humanity, whether revealed in Toronto’s malls, the shops of Seoul, or the markets of ancient Rome. We all look in the wrong places for meaning and fulfillment. Isn’t it possible that all those zoned faces are desperately seeking soul too? I believe Christ saw that in the beehive of his day. I take comfort in the fact that He too, was an outsider (John 1:10), and it is therefore not so strange for us Christians to feel foreign, ill at ease, when we have once glimpsed the kingdom that is in but “not of the world.” But now the task remains for us to heal that disconnect, to engage the hearts and minds of culture with the credibility and beauty of the gospel of Christ. That is something worth possessing and belonging to! So do not despair, even consumerism has met its match in the feast Christ has prepared for all who choose to be His pawns. Love ya, Annie

  2. bro said,

    June 10, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Wow, great comment Annie. I agree. I also think there’s a deeper story to be told here… That Emily will always be an outsider in Toronto because Ottawa will be her home. Ha. Just kidding. Or not. But seriously, Toronto’s evil. Actually, I think it’s important to remember that Toronto can’t be evil. Corporations can’t be evil – if you believe that then you believe they are a person, and isn’t that what you’re trying to change? Fast food can’t be evil either. Human beings are evil. All of us. None of us are immune from evil, although some of us will be and are in God’s sight (although when we are in our own there’s a problem!). At the same time, though, we all have God’s law written on our hearts. Even the most evil person can never be dehumanized by his or her vileness, because vileness is an essential part of what it currently means to be human. Just as corporations can’t be evil because they’re inhuman, humans cannot be inhuman just because they’re evil. Which means that while Jesus would never die for a corporation, neither would he waste too much energy on it because there is no treasure there for the taking. The treasure is in these earthen vessels – no matter how frail or corrupt. Jesus didn’t fight against Herod’s rule or Caesar’s empire – no matter how corrupt it was. His Kingdom was not of this world. He fought for the souls and minds of those who claimed to know Him. It was through only through this shift of deepest subconscious thoughts – a subtle change in priorities to reflect the proper order of the universe – that the Kingdom of God overcame. And now we find ourselves here, as partial outsiders who can never and should never completely escape to the outside because there are still insiders who, like us, need a breath of fresh air.

    Good thoughts Emily. You have certainly challenged me and helped me to think in new ways. I don’t necessarily always think the same way you do, but I have immensely enjoyed thinking in the same sphere as you.

  3. quone said,

    June 16, 2007 at 12:28 am

    Yes.

    Humans are completely junked out and always looking for the next consumer fix. I’m glad you left. I don’t go into malls either, if I can help it…stay away Em!


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