Loser's Guide to Life
Right after the war, everyone is faced with increased prosperity, which meant material benefits affecting every activity in mundane life.
You spend the day at a job somehow facilitating increased prosperity, then you drive to a food centre to get frozen food to fill your various food devices in your modern housing unit, which is specifically designed for a minimal family (the two parents necessary for procreation and such children as they are comfortable with).
If you think about it, this minimal, or nuclear, family is really a contradiction in terms: a family, by definition, includes grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. It is a component of a network, with almost endless possible ties to others. In other words, the nuclear family is stripped of all members except for the children, only because, I suppose, many people balk at the idea of putting their newborns in an institution. That much fellow-feeling remains. But even the married couple seems, at times—de trop? “Who is this old woman in my house?”, Schmidt asks in “About Schmidt”. The trend is, therefore, towards solitude. Everyone meditates and prepares for the wilderness...
No, they don't! They can't. The life to which they are completely committed is directly opposed to rock-squatting and locust-eating.
At that moment, both Barbie and the “Playboy” come into play as the two aspects of the new ideal of human life.
(It's instructive that both Barbie and “Playboy” are constructs of the Midwestern mind, with its origins in the newly-urbanized heartland. This is where uncertainty about the future is at its most profound, and where practical ways of dealing with it are most likely to be sought).
Years later there was a new magazine, “People”, because people were getting more and more curious about these “people” they had heard about. Still later there was a TV show called “Friends”, because people wanted to know what it would be like to have friends. And now there is “Facebook”, which is designed to help people construct some sort of rudimentary persona (or face) for themselves. Others trying to do the same can become your “friends” on that basis.
Confirm? Pleeze? Does your face wanna be friends with my face?
Labels: Imaginary Society