Fall 2013

Communiqué #3

Reprinted from Tidal, September 2012


The world ultimately comes down to dreams and their realization. So many dreams compete for our attention.

There’s lottery-win dream, with its conjoined reveries of job-quitting and setting your office straight about what you think of everyone (or acquiring your company just to fire them), which gives you time to buy your own bar so that you can drink for free and throw people out. Most spend years working through the permutations of the big win they will never have.

Or there is the moment when your talent is finally revealed, after all these years, and the audience roars at the spectacular beauty of it as the cameras close in on your radiance.

Or consider the underdog miracle revenge shot as time expires, when you bring the championship home to your fans, who had forgotten that hope even existed.

Power, wealth, adoration: so many possibilities are available in our veritable dream marketplace!

When you unpack these fantasies objectively, one concludes that the core modern dream involves some variation of you standing atop a heap of subjugated humanity, your middle finger raised above your bowed [sic] in defiant salute to the universe; a wizard’s staff, sword or microphone rests in your free hand; your peace sign necklace lightly bumps against your chest; your theme song swells, righteous; the defeated hordes beneath your feet go wild. What true American does not want that?

It’s a shame the place got labeled United States before someone named it the far more appropriate and inspiring “Fantasia.” So too, our national flag should rightly display some of our predominant iconography, now reflected largely only in our tattoos. If we had a flag featuring iridescent unicorns and enraged flaming skulls, the rest of humanity would at least have some inkling about the passions that animate life here.

Sure, there’s the awkward issue that grand dreams cannot possibly come true for the vast majority. This has even produced occasional unrest. But the astonishing development of dream technologies has ameliorated much potential turmoil. Today, our lives are mostly pure fabrication. People generally have a vague notion that they have some sort of relationship with favorite celebrities; that their product choices help them create a richer world while simultaneously expressing their individuality; that their favorite television and movie characters are actually alive; that things are great and getting better.

We have, in cutting-edge American fashion, taken magical realism from mere literary genre to complete lifestyle. To a large extent, we must credit marketers for this. Marketers divined that commerce could be developed beyond primitive acts of buying things simply to have them. They forged a rich imagistic language that welds shopping with destiny, and expresses purchases as deeper social acts rippling through

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