Friday, September 17, 2010
Welcome To Wonderhell
I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.
Into a wanna-be-hippie, thoroughly yuppie, always organic, sustainably designed, yogic, suburban Wonderhell. And I can’t get out. And like Alice in the rabbit hole, I’m not certain which direction I’m going, or which direction I came from in this suburban strip mall of a yuppie’s wet dream.
Yesterday I got lost in a parking lot. While driving. Today I got lost in a pedestrian mall. Just another day in the life of Wonderhell.
Everywhere I look there’s wannabe hippie, yuppie scum, trustafarians buying local, eating organic, riding cruiser bikes and cursing corporate America. All while failing to see that their yippie wonderland was created by The Man himself. And that trust fund they’re dipping into, and the Range Rover they’re driving drips from the power teat of capitalistic mass consumption.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m all for glutonistic mass consumption and corporately manipulated consumer greed. And these yippies have some great ideas about how to put a feel-good, green spin on the old favorite known as greed. I relish the fact that within one square mile I can shop at Prana, North Face, Mont Bell, Patagonia, Volcom, Smith, Whole Foods, assorted local/organic coffeehouses and sundry local/organic/sustainable/biodynamic/natural/vegan/vegetarian/ethnic/over-priced establishments of wining and dining. But unlike the yuppies, posing as local/organic hippies, I fully admit to the fact our world is inherently driven by consumer desire and homogenous mass consumption.
After all Wonderhell, in all of it’s green-designed, bamboo-floored, solar-paneled, prefabricated housing greatness, is a lesson in the homogeneity of an age-old phenomenon knows as Keepus Jonses, or, alternatively, “keeping up with the Joneses.” While these ideas, from organic food, to green housing, to trendy locally owned boutiques selling adorable sustainable paper products and BPA free water bottles, seem progressive, unique, interesting and even cutting edge, they are in fact nothing more than a 21st century rendition of the Joneses. It’s a new spin on the 1950’s post-war society that demanded a college education, a grey flannel suit, a split level ranch in a growing suburb and a glowing Barbie doll called your wife, of every 20-something white male in America. It was, after all, the American dream.
And this Leave It To Beaver Stepford is not as far away as we yippies would like to think. The homogeneity of Stepford went green, started shopping local and buying organic and before they knew what had hit ‘em they were conforming once again. In an effort to rebel against The Man (their parents) and change the world (Stepford) they simply replaced the old forced conformity with a newer, more politically correct, yogic, organic version. They put their Wonderhell in a myriad assortment of towns which allowed them to maintain the “healthy and active” lifestyle mandated by the dictator of Wonderhell.
And while I thoroughly appreciate the convenience and benefits of suburban Wonderhell I’ll take urban Clusterfuck or country Redneckville any day over this homogenized and vacuum-sealed playground for the yuppies, the yippies, the hippies and everyone in between (at least everyone that fits in between the borders of the spectrum of conformity dictated in the Wonderhell Bible, aka, Stuff White People Like, aka Stuff Yuppies Like, aka Stuff People From Boulder Like). Because, despite their shortcomings, these places have a certain degree of authenticity that is irreplaceable and unable to be prefabricated or designed.
So until I find the little door (or was it the giant door) out of Wonderhell, you must excuse me because I’ve many commitments to keep when in Rome, if you will. I’m off to Whole Foods before I go to yoga and then I’m due at a dinner engagement at a trendy-chic, local-organic yuppie wining and dining hole. Namaste.