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March 17, 2005

Gaia, The Growth Industry; or, I'm All Lost in the Supermarket

Snapshot is annoyed by the Whole Foods Cargo Cult, and fisks an article about people who just care a little too much about organic shade-grown fair-trade breath mints:

It's not even just about food anymore. The chain's first all-organic clothing section is here, with a private dressing room if you need to try on that $44 robe.

You're killing me, people.

“They're not selling food,” supermarket guru Phil Lempert says. “They're selling life.”

Make it stop.

“Whole Foods offers a psychological absolution of our excesses,” says Jerald Jellison, psychology professor at University of Southern California. “After filling your cart with sinful wine, beer, cheese and breads, you rationalize it's healthy, so that cancels out the negatives.”

I'm begging. I'm on my knees here.

And yet his prayers go unanswered.

For some reason, I think this sort of dovetails with the post about genes influencing religiosity. Perhaps some have the genes for a questing soul seeking higher meaning, some don't. I, personally, don't, unless a shot on Paula Zahn is considered higher meaning.

Genetically influenced or not, there is obviously, in many, a desire for transcendence. Many have abandoned God, or at least "God" as He is generally understood, and yet that nagging desire for transcendence, for a deeper connection with the universe, remains.

With God not an option, it seems that some seek meaning and solace in four-dollar avacadoes, taking soul-soothing pleasure in the fact that somewhere out there in the universe there's an avacado-farmer giggling his ass off that people are willing to pay that much for a piece of unprocessed guacamole.

To each his(her) own.

BTW: My pop-culture trivia genes failed me. Isn't there some song about finding love in a supermarket or a shopping mall or something? I think there is, but I couldn't remember it, and I couldn't find it on Google.

It's a whiny kind of song.

Call Off the Hounds Update: I'm still not sure what song I was thinking of. But I know the tune I had in my head wasn't even the right song.

The tune I had in my head was Stacy Lattisaw's cover of The Moments' Love on a Two-Way Street, from, oh God, 1981. Don't click on that, by the way, unless you want part of the awfulness which refuses to depart my brainspace.

I guess the reason I thought it was sung by a whiny effeminate man was that it was sung by a whiny female singer.

Those Pesky Crunchy Cons: And I thought they were mythical beasts only occasionally spied at The Corner.

Okay, okay, if you like Whole Foods, by all means shop there. Snapshot's rip, and mine as well, has less to do with Whole Foods per se than the talismanic and totemic power that irreligious-but-still-questing liberals invest into simple food purchases.

If you're buying for the quality, or because you don't like Alar, fine. But spare me this excess:

“They're not selling food,” supermarket guru Phil Lempert says. “They're selling life.”

They're selling salvation via organic salmon. And that's just dopey.


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posted by Ace at 07:18 PM

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