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  • The Midnight Library written by Matt Haig
    By: Destiny Breniser   What if you had the chance to live another life instead of the one you are currently living? This story turns the idea of a multiverse on its head centered on what happens when you die.  This book was published in 2020 with its genre being science fiction. The place you go when […]
  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]

My career conflicts with my desire to avoid marketing maneuvers

All my life, I’ve tried to maintain my individuality and my consumer autonomy by refraining from purchasing and using clothing and material goods which I consider to be “mainstream.” Boy, I sure am a fool.

“Abercrombie ‘ Fitch clothes? No thanks. I’ll buy my duds at Goodwill and punk rock shows.”

“Buy a nice car? Forget that; I’ll stick with my minivan.”

Quite frankly, I didn’t want to be “bought” or “sold.” I thought I was expressing my individuality and demonstrating my desire to resist the alluring call of mass consumerism.

And since the nascent months of my first year of college, I’ve come to an important realization about all of this: The goods which one chooses to or not to consume does not define said person, nor does it create individuality.

In other words, my choice to consume “extreme” snack chips would not make me any more “extreme” than anyone else. I’d have to actually DO something extreme to make myself more audacious and adventurous . . . like sumo-wrestling a pack of rabid monkeys on the top spire of the Empire State Building during a firestorm.

By buying into this way of thought, I was only harboring stronger positive sentiments for the brands which I chose to use, and I was making myself intolerant of any other brands.

I was falling prey to consumerism and I didn’t even know it!

And now that I’ve spent about a year with coursework pertaining to my major, I don’t just feel like a simple fool anymore: Now I feel like a complete sellout.

Think about it, my major (VCT) is heavily steeped in marketing and advertising. I’ve been learning how to layout and create posters, brochures, business cards, memo pads, T-shirt designs, magazine advertisements, Web sites, logos and all that jazz.

And what is the goal of such materials? To sell things.

Any way I spin it, I’m a hard-core capitalist no matter what I would like to think I am. Isn’t it funny how I could think I was a consumption-savvy individual with a knack for avoiding advertising schemes and marketing ploys when I would inevitably end up studying just how to create such things?

It’s a paradox in itself: I want my creations to be able to sell products to other people, but I don’t want anyone to be able to sell their products to me!

But just like anyone else, I consume. I purchase food, magazines, clothing, posters, school supplies, hygiene products, shoes and everything else that college sophomores buy in order to keep themselves alive.

So by realizing this, I recognize the fact that I must define myself with my actions, ideas, achievements, creations and my productiveness. Being choosy over the crap that I decide to purchase or let rot on the shelves is nothing more than a defense mechanism I’ve been using to cling onto my last remaining shreds of individuality and ego in a futile attempt to maintain my sanity in the sea of indefinite variables which constitutes college life.

As a result of this realization, I try not to automatically label people as being mindless consumer sheep based on the things they wear and use.

This is a new way of thought for me. In high school I made fun of Hollister and Aeropostale clothing until my eyeballs bleed and locusts would fly forth from my appendages.

But I believe I’ve outgrown such pointless ideas in my time at college. After all, I could be considered a mindless consumer moron for choosing to purchase so many white T-shirts and granola bars!

So who am I to say who is and who isn’t falling prey to turbo-consumerism?

I’ll be happy with what I consume, and everyone else on this planet will be happy with what they choose to consume.

Besides, college kids are supposed to be artsy and sophisticated! And from what I remember, jokes about clothing and apparel stopped being funny back in junior high school.

Hmmm, all this thinking about consumerism makes me want to consume something.

Who’s got the cake?

– Respond to Levi at [email protected].

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