The Existential Terror Of Amazon Prime

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Every itch can be scratched under late-stage capitalism. All except for the burning in your soul, but fuck that, you can get the exact soap dish you want, which is close enough. Or at least as close as we get in this life. I’m not knocking retail therapy. God knows life is insane right now. When the masses are so subjugated, you can’t blame them for taking opium. Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em. Fuck it.

Of all the deep desires we have, the desire for accumulation is at least one we can satisfy. At least temporarily. As apes, as animals, we want to feather our nest, to display status, and just play around. The Internet has accelerated this motivation, providing both the ability to research any object, and the ability to purchase it almost immediately. We can find the best and get it now. It’s intoxicating. Itch and scratch have never been as close in human history. And people have never been scratching as furiously. Like we’ve got web crawlers under our skin.

The funny thing about scratching is that it doesn’t actually relieve the itch. It just cause a mild pain that distracts your brain for second. As John Cougar Mellencamp said, it hurts so good. Same thing with online shopping. It’s just a momentary jolt of dopamine from drug-lord Jeff Bezos, just enough to distract you from the fact that you’re being duped.

The fruits of colonialism are that people within the White Empire get everybody else making them cheap shit. We’re rubbing their feet and keeping their bathrooms cleaned from thousands of miles away, which is the best place for us. Out of sight, out of mind. A few people have gotten massively rich from colonialism, but the white (and whitening) masses at least got stuff. Cheap underwear from Sri Lanka, rapidly advancing electronics from Japan and China, ‘Belgian’ chocolate from Ghana, all hidden behind the labels of the white corporations just stealing that labor, packaging it nicely, and delivering it the last mile to you.

Consumer goods are the cocaine of a consumer culture. At this point, they’re the only thing keeping the thing up and functioning at all. They’re the only thing that make it seem like life is better. Because everything else—all the greater needs—are only getting worse.

The deal of globalism (née colonialism) was that you gave up manufacturing jobs for cheap manufacturing goods. It was all supposed to even out and workers could move into more productive and profitable jobs. So the lucky moved into what David Graeber called ‘bullshit’ jobs and the unlucky just moved out of the ‘middle-class’ forever. The other part of the deal was that the upper-classes would yoink all your public services which were certainly not as efficient as your new VCR and toaster. Everything could be run by the market. The market was God. All heil the invisible hand.

The fruits of this financial fascism were that needs suddenly became difficult or even impossible to get. Housing, health, education, these suddenly became more than even luxury goods. People suddenly became serfs, they couldn’t even imagine what the new merchant nobility had. $400,000 for a child’s education? $1 million dollars to save your life? A $25 million dollar house you live in and a $50 million dollar house you don’t. This is real to the ruling merchant class, and completely imaginary to their customers. Honestly, consumer is just the latest word for serf.

Our home is our castle and—if we have an address—we can get any amount of doormats and appliances and linens delivered to it. We can live better than the kings of yore, and ignore the fact that the kings of today live much better and take so much more. Jeff Bezos is edging space in an entirely discretionary carbon emission that inspired William Shatner with depression. After his Blue Origins flight, Captain Kirk said: