We’ve all come across the the woman who shares the details of “her perfect decor” or the man who explains “his own style.” The very fact that there are hundreds of brands ready to supply these extremists precisely what they need to fulfill their wishes ought to underscore the reality that their consumer longings exist, not at some pinnacle of cultural refinement or trough of counter-cultural uniqueness, but rather comfortably along side the many thousands of other like-minded folks necessary for manufacturers to establish a market. Industrial economies of scale have emaciated individualism, even while twentieth-century brand marketing flatters our egos.
This circumstance has left us with two prevailing options for pursuing the dream life. We can believe, against all economic evidence and emotional common sense, that the dream life is a self-engendered goal, and then beat a path to the mall to make the purchases we feel will get us there. Or else we can chill out.