Friday, May 6, 2005

The unbearable likeness of... 

"The code of production itself always aims at the "infinite receptacle of consumption." But the latter becomes the consumption of total security; the utopian use of defense reflexes leads us to modify esthetics and the nature of production. The meaning of business reform is totally different from the one ascribed to it by the powers that be. Thus, the appearance on the market of "non-brand-name products that are just as good"--which passed more or less unnoticed--seems to me to be a considerable event: merchandise in large demand is presented for reasons of "economy," in "anonymous" white labels, the conpany's obtrusive trade-mark having disappeared. They are promoted with an immense anti-pubilcity campaign. They are, so we are told, "free products"; in other words they no longer rely on the dubious methods of whorish old marketing techniques. From now on, repulsion sells more than attractions; this is what organizes our new social existence around the objects of protection. If the companies are asked by the consumer protection agencies to moderate their advertising campaigns, it's because other forces of production seek to develop theirs in the area of information..."

- Excerpted from a stunning new essay by Paul Virilio entitled "Why MUJI Sucks"

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