Your Grocer’s Freezer
Society's Repetitious Zombie Disco
Sometimes I forget myself and end up very hungry in the frozen food isle at the grocery store. It’s usually years in between these moments, so I assume that things have changed. I look at all the delicious pictures and wonder how far we’ve come as a society that this meal can be in a box. What a wonderful time to be alive! Then I buy it and quickly find out that it’s still tasteless slop wrapped in plastic.
I feel that way about a lot of things lately. Society is a repetitious zombie disco, pulsing at a fevered pitch. I have started to look at my wish lists, podcast subscriptions, and streaming services much like my grocer’s freezer. Everything I see is bland and regurgitated.
At the beginning of 2021 I was thoroughly interested in politics and business. You can tell by what I put on my private Amazon wish list. It was filled with autobiographies written by current and past political folks. People’s opinions on what has happened to the world and where we’re going if “things keep on like this.” There was plenty of business self-help books on that list too. Lengthy instructional texts penned by “out of the box” thinkers and business titans. Everybody telling us what to do to be just like them.
I haven’t really gone to my wish list in a year. I had bought so many books on topics of Buddhism or American Indians that I have been pretty busy reading those. I think the way my life has gone and the books I have been reading brought me to find my wish list had become obsolete. I deleted so many of those books I wanted not so long ago. I have no interest in it. The same goes for podcasts that drone on continually about politics and asking in a panic, “What are we going to do?” When nobody really will be doing anything.
I’m not particularly old, but I’ve seen too many of those crazy repetitious patterns. Like presidential races that leave me thinking we had tried that before. People love to repeat themselves. We’ll try a Democrat and then we’ll try a Republican. Rinse and repeat, because “it’s going to be different this time!”
At the beginning of the pandemic there were some great productions talking about how this was going to be the “thing” that changes everything! Great news for those of us whom already knew everything needed to change. Keeping your distance, minding your germs, working from home, and shorter work days were just some of the highlights.
As we struggled along with the pandemic and dealing with the unknown, it quickly became clear that people love to suffer in the society that was already there. They had some wild desire to go into offices and gather in large groups. They didn’t want to work less, they were afraid of losing the identity society had assigned them. It turned out that what I called suffering was what they called modern day living.
Now as we phase out of these pandemic times and pretend none of it ever happened, I see and hear a repeat of all the things. There was just a news broadcast on this morning asking, “Is it time for a 4 day work week?” Then there’s the ramping up to yet another election year where people have already begun repeating the promises of the past failed elected officials. We’re already being hit with 2024 presidential election banter when the last guy has barely begun. The exciting news of today is the same onslaught of topics that came yesterday. They may be boxed up like a new topic, but usually there isn’t even that.
Year after year, probably more like decade after decade, I thought that people surely couldn’t be this stupid. Surely people couldn’t be fooled once they live long enough and see that it’s the same game every damned time. Yet they don’t see it. If they see it, they ignore it. They love their spin cycles. They love to have the same holidays, family fights, marital problems, and dinner menus over and over until they’ve wasted another entire life standing in their grocer’s freezer section.