Sunday, May 12, 2013

"The Glowing Ball of Supersonic Consumerism"

                           The Known Unknown of Korea

Some people may say that Seoul is the New York City of Asia and I may haphazardly agree with that statement. Seoul is a glowing ball of consumerism where everyone is judging everyone else and I delight in wearing beat up Chucks and proudly displaying my colorful tattoos. I spent the weekend trying to find something that I had never really lost in the first place and that was my ability to tell a great story and after rattling around Seoul and relaxing in a park with my fellow 20 something cohorts; I have decided that I am going to tell you a story about consumerism. Now before you continue reading this, please do not think I’m going to put up a peace sign and say let’s have a protest (I’ll save this for the hipsters and the OCCUPY DSM MOVEMENT) This is just a story, a realization, a wake-up call and a pent-up frustration that needed to be vented.

Enjoy or not…

Jane is a 20 something that finds comfort in other countries because conversations are just more fun with a Cass or a shot of absinthe in hand.  Jane is a scholar of the road, a renaissance woman and an old soul with a huge heart and the courage of a lion. Jane has danced on 13th century bridges and walked on battlefields, Jane has found love and Jane has experienced great loss.

One day Jane gets the urge to board another plane because something is missing and she has been staggering in and out of corn fields for a bit too long. Without much consideration or reading done before hand Jane decides to fly to the far far east in search of something that she’s missing. When Jane arrives she finds a strange, boring population of workaholics that lack creativity, scholars that lack ingenuity and musicians that haven’t a clue what they are raging against or for.  The women are always giving Jane dirty looks because Jane has no desire to dress or look or act like them. The days pass on and the constant barking continues, to have more, need more, buy more-thousands of little parasites running in and out of designer stores buying high-end marketed crack that is made cheap in the Philippines and tested on every species known to man, but you see it doesn’t matter because if someone else has it they must have it too. Work all week long, only to spend and consume the weekend away, Jane’s philosophy has never been this, life has always been about art, experience and ideas, to share these thoughts with others however even with her 20 something cohorts, they appear to have drank the Kool-Aid and live to consume instead of to experience, to assist and to empower others. 

Jane stood tall during the day and bit her lipstick-less lip and hid her beautiful arms and kept her thoughts trapped in a notebook and rarely spoke to anyone because everywhere she went all the people were all the same. Jane’s comrades stared her down and although she looked simple and ignored the consumerist paths of her peers, she made it abundantly clear that she had a fire inside of her heart and majestic wings that would gladly escort her far from this chaotic place built on industrialized values and supersonic consumerism.

How sad and tragic it must be for these poor people to have drunk the Kool-Aid and to continue working for things they do not need. What happens if we just exist in our thoughts and we slow down and stop buying so many foolish things? If we read more books and listened to more music and have bigger conversations and tell longer stories and hug our friends and tell people how we're feeling and just be ourselves... because that is something truly beautiful.

What if we just stop to create, something, anything because we want to and we ignore every cynical comment made by anyone in our presence? If we lived a little more like Jane.

-Samantha Lee Thomas

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