The other day I saw something that really turned my stomach. No, it wasn’t the dead gecko in my notebook or the rotten pineapple behind the kitchen, or even the sight of Walker hacking up a wad on the porch – it was a Newsweek.
I have not read a news story since last year and generally manage to avoid contact with the media even though we have computer access and an impressive collection of magazines in the lodge. But today I had time to kill. Breakfast was over and I was waiting at the lodge for a guest to return and settle their bill.
I dished up a bowl of beans and rice and settled down on the couch. Feeling like a voyeur, I began to shuffle through the pile of magazines. A recent copy of Newsweek caught my eye and I picked it up.
The first three pages were full-page ads. Only 54 of the 118 pages in the February 14th issue actually held news stories. The other 64 pages were dedicated to advertising, including 8 pages each for prescription drugs and money management and 5 for designer food.
What, exactly is the point, I wondered, of a Light’n Fit CARB CONTROL Smoothie? As far as I could tell, the purpose of this product was to separate insecure people from their money by taking advantage of their phood phobias. Worse, the plastic packaging was designed to load up the landfills with a petroleum-based product. I mean, “Hello – We’re fighting wars for this?!”
It immediately became obvious that years of self-imposed cultural deprivation and real food have ruined my appetite for such disgusting examples of conspicuous consumption. I was so distracted by the hawking of financial and medical services that I was unable to read the news stories about retirement, war, entertainment and so on. Twas a pity…