Monday, March 5, 2007

The End of Childhood (Part 2a, Addendum) Instant Gratification Applied.

The ultimate of ironies about instant gratification and the affect it has on kids and their parents is that, working as a merchandising person at Borders, it is my specialty to take the stock we have and present it in such a way that instant gratification is needed. If the kids don't yell and scream that they want a book or a coloring book or candy, I haven't done my job. It's the knowledge about capitalism that makes it easier to do what I do. Just as in any job. Take a Bankruptcy Lawyer, for instance (my mom works for one.). To do his or her job correctly, they must know the tricks of the creditor as well as the downfalls of the debtor to help them do their jobs. And it's not that they want their clients to do things to make them go further into debt (and therefore, need their services), but without those clients, they don't have a job. And while we're on that subject, it seems interesting to me that just as the whole idea of instant gratification and instant credit is at it's peak, the Federal Government, with the backing of the creditors, would make it more difficult to get a bankruptcy. Which is as it should be, actually. With no one teaching anyone self-discipline, it shouldn't be easy to get out of debt. Which too is ironic because the instant gratification makes it much easier to get into too much debt. It's a vicious cycle, one that has been formed by capitalism with the help of visual media such as Television and the photograph.

Photography is something I haven't talked about, but it is as important, in some respects, than television is to the idea of thinking visually. Case in point. If you've ever looked at a Denny's menu, you will agree with me that the photographers and photo editors of that menu should get some sort of award. No food should look that good. But it does, and you absolutely have to order whatever you can find on there. However, the food doesn't always taste as good as it looks. The stomach is so often deceived. It was an instant emotional response to the picture of the food, and whether or not you actually looked at the description of the food is irrelevant. Of course, it's interesting that the restaurant in Milledgeville, Brewer's (which I loved) closed at some point after I graduated (I absolutely have to get the recipe for their Tomato Soup!). Its menus were all descriptions and words.

I've seen more kids today yell and scream over wanting something...anything.... books, candy... whatever, and while it annoys the heck out of me that they shouldn't be wanting something that instantly, and that their parents should be putting more of a sense of self-discipline into them, they don't. And that's good, cause we get the benefits of that need. And it says that I've done my job.

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