Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"The perfect consumer item"

Until recently he's been too covered up to post much, but here's a sample of why Conrad Gempf is one of my favorite bloggers:
What more perfect symbol is there of Western culture and society than the cigarette? It is an affectation. It has no nutritional value and even its neurochemical stimulation is so slight that one doesn't consciously notice it until it's withdrawn.

It is the perfect consumer item. The stuff grows in the ground like a weed, it's subtly but fiendishly addictive. And, best of all, here's what makes it a better consumer item than the iPod: people have to keep rebuying cigarettes because the way that you use them is to destroy them. Nearly a perfect capitalist artefact except that it kills the consumer. At least it does it slowly.
As good as he is with cultural observation, Conrad is even better in his observations on the New Testament.


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