The Stimulus of the New
Medical treatment of drug addicted patients involves assessment of abuse, addiction, and tolerance. Consumerism is an addiction. Commodities, physiques, and sensations are its drug of choice; corporations the drug lord; advertising the dealer. The mystique of the unknown first lures an unsuspecting customer in. The first hit lasts as long as heaven should. Subsequent hits take less of an effect. Higher doses and new brands are necessary to maintain the sensation. Appetites for drugs and commodities alike grow. Finally we find insatiable greed tears a family, a community, a society apart. Often, relationships are characterized by an energetic initiation, a meteoric consumption, and a rapid disintegration. Conquest, challenge, mystery drive the interaction. The stimulus of consumption gone, so too is the friendship. The market has found its invisible hands into human social relations. Mutually commodified and exploitative relationships are manifestations of consumer values. Is consumer culture to this extreme a re-manifestation of the practice of prostitution?