Thursday, September 30, 2010

Collective consumer consciousness

There may not be any such thing as Intelligent Design in the Christian fundamentalist sense of it, but there sure as hell is in the consumer market!  For instance, there is an international agency that specifies exact colors and color combinations for all consumer goods.  *ALL* of them.  I know I read about this, and yet when I search for it on the internet, I can't find it again (I hate it when that happens). 

This stuff is so computer-interlinked by this time that when I bought a wool rug made in Europe, I marched straight out to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought drapes made in China that contained the same four shades, without even trying to search for a match.  The exact same shades, and with stripes to boot.

When I had to cover Cayley's cheap Walmart-bought, Georgia-made shag rug with a towel to catch the dog slobber, I bought a Swedish number at Ikea that is so exact in color that half the time I can't see where the rug stops and the towel starts, and so I trip over it.

Sometimes the specificity of the matching totally takes me by surprise.  Last week I found that the only WEPC-available Smartwool sock that fit my tiny feet was this godawful baby blue color, which would really show stains.  Initially I was bummed about this but I'm addicted to Smartwool so I bought them anyway.  It wasn't until I got home that I realized these socks had specifically been intended to go with my New Balance running shoes.

In fact they are so closely coordinated that, when both are donned, it's difficult to see what's shoe and what's sock.

Who needs nanobots when we have the "Design Borg" like this?!  It's a bit unnerving at times.  They do it to encourage the consumer to BUY, BUY, BUY.  Like there's a subliminal message in there:  "Look, it's an exact match!  We made it just for you!  We KNEW exactly what you needed even before YOU did!  Trust us!  This purchase was MEANT to BE!" 

Resistance is futile.

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