Richard Hamilton, Just What Is It that Makes
Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing (1956)
This week, May 5, the Brazilians got the message. Did they?
Extra-extra: The Supreme Court of Brazil unanimously recognizes same-sex civil unions.
“A watershed by gay activists”. “A landmark decision for the deeply Catholic country”. “The best-case-scenario to put a [necessary, I add] stop on violence, assassination, and discrimination against homosexuals”. “A case of equal rights”!
Legalizing gay marriage in Brazil is, for sure, a great advance forward. It is undeniable that this decision was urgent, not only in Brazilian lands but all over the world. Barbarian times those ones in which people do not recognize that love, companionship and sharing cut across all our realities and are a bridge among all differences [of any type]. Tick-tack, tick-tack... Last but not least! The decision coming from the Supreme Court of Brazil ― out of question, then! And here is the voice of the country with the world’s biggest Catholic population: guaranteeing the gay couples the same “legal rights” as other couples represents a landmark indeed… Something pointing to much equality in [gender] rights that claimed to be reverberated ― for sure! Which appears, by the way, to be tuned to other “greatest hits” in a moment that we have recently chosen a woman as a President ― the highest political position in a democratic State!
“The very question”, however, is to my knowledge beyond those simplistic frames “depicted” [and announced] by the major yellow press, “ruled” [and asseverated] by the majority of our high court justices: “No one should be deprived of rights on the basis of sexual orientation” ― said, for instance, judge Ricardo Lewandowski.
No one should be deprived of… No one… Deprived of… Beautiful [and requisite] statement! There is no occasion for mistrusting that ― I insist, and hope that readers will not misunderstand my key-quest words herein, once the struggle for human rights is itself the most preponderant one I assume, even indirectly, on my speech… it is, in reality, part of my fictionisms one way or another…
But, for a case in point, where is [and how appears to be hidden] the “very question”? Isn’t there a logic behind a speech that has been so beautifully done this week in Brazil concerning the [supposed] equal rights for those who have [long-standing] entreated of governments to hear them out, and to comply with their requests for these same “equal rights”? Why only now “justice has been served”?
A shift, argues philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, has taken place in our contemporary times! This is, in my offhanded ― and dangerous, I recognize ― opinion, what I have called “the very question”. A shift ― from modernity to postmodernity, from solidity to liquidity. The passage from a society of producers to a society of consumers. There is even a compelling moral principal behind it: the pressing-increasing freedom, or equality, demanded in “our times” is not one of that for human rights; neither for love; nor even a battle against discrimination and violence. Quite the contrary, this is a war on the freedom to… [kaboom!] purchase, to consume, to enjoy life in a way that should appear to be synchronized to the terms of the major pull-you and push-you game: the corporations’ rules to make you… buy!
THE STRATEGIC DISCOURSE FROM ABOVE: If you love a man, being yourself a man, it is no longer an absurd ― we assure you! Just look around, Powerful Man: you do not deserve to be excluded “on the basis of your sexual orientation”… no more, no more… We have the best offers for you! If you love a woman, being a woman, please, do not feel yourself out of scene: you have right now a mélange of goods and amazing-places vacation packages to travel around with your lover! And so forth… That’s the big deal! Your big deal, huh? Yours? Whose?
This is exactly the demanding “liquidity” from our epoch, as explains philosopher Bauman: there is no time to waste, no against argument that could possibly impede a scheme of mass standardization prompted by consumerism… All-in-all: most “solid values” [most of them, horrid, since their origin is often based upon discrimination and violence] ― such as the long-standing prejudice against homosexuals, women, black brothers and sisters, and so forth ― have to be dismantled them all! The new and unprecedented setting for individual life pursuits points to “enlarged rights” not in terms of such dignity on [making the] living, but in terms of episodes from anyone’s lives ready to be captured and converted into great scenes of the great spectacle of consumerism fed up by “the specialized class” ― the corporations’ sectarians! [and the target includes every single person who has their $$$ to buy, even those with their no more “exquisite sexual habits”, as they seemed to be considered back in the day]. How curious, huh? What an open-minded decision, isn’t it?
SELVES AS OBJECTS OF CONSUMPTION: The blatant fraud on “freedom” [whatever it seems to be] instilled in people’s mind is after all historically shaped, and needs to be remolded, remanufactured from time to time.
The current “needs for… freedom”? Oh! If you love, you buy ― after all, being happy is an outrageous motif to make you spend your time and your money at shopping malls doing your utmost to find “the right object” to compete with your feeling… of loving someone. If you suffer or have already lost a loved person, you also... buy ― chocolates, in this case, can be a great partner to make you feel better; after all, you need to pour out all your frustrations anyway. If you cry or get desperate for any reason, you also… buy… And so on…
To the “eyes” of this current [hideous] scheme prompted by the corporations motion, irrespective of where they carve out their tentacles [because the scheme has to be considered in global terms], you… need to buy! This is the big deal! Their ― not your or my ― big deal! Shopping malls, new franchises, online shopping, whatsoever, open every $$$ minutes… They are making money, not recognizing you as a person… Ops! For them you are a… consumer… Tick-tack, tick-tack, bang-bang, bang-bang: their big deal!
In the end, consumption on a truly mass scale appears as a foundational rather than any other instance of society. Characterized by the growth of advertising and marketing [those boring and irritating “parrots” that make their large-scale efforts to generate and manipulate the audience, and to celebrate the consumption as a pleasure], the postmodern consumerism has its own preoccupation with the gratification of desire. Plus: it intends [and almost always gets] to make anyone, irrespective of how Very Men or Very Women they should be, a [fine or rustic] Slave of their own control over… everyone… you and me and anyone else! Men or women, adults or children ― it does not really matter because this is not a question of sex, gender, age, race or whatever…
Selfishness, self-centeredness, individualism, foolishness, and processes of self-identification are only ones of the package! Unfortunately! All this is kindled not when needs for specific objects are created and consumed, not only when the need to need or the desire to desire is manifested, but when you develop a sense of who you “are” and what you want to “become”… through consumption ― as stated another theorist of the postmodern times, Jean Baudrillard. All this is… what? A shame, for sure! Especially yet human needs can never be satisfied through any process of consumer goods… but insisting on the opposite is the big deal, isn’t it? To create the false need for… buying, not for looking… ahead and around, and then… feeling ― much more than... filling the carts at a supermarket!
On the other hand, it is undeniable that my country made great advances forward by recognizing that men/women can love other men/women [and share their patrimony with: it is important to notice this "detail" because it is “on the basis” of the high court decision ― the magic word "patrimony"]. As far as I understand, and ever declared herein, this is after all a remarkable decision for all those who still suffer from discrimination and violence just because they… what? Love persons with the same [or different] sex as theirs? Barbarian times!
That means: who has been [or is, or will be] in the position to choose or point out who we should love, and parent together, and share values, commitment, faithfulness, and a life with? Barbarian times since there will be those to (mis)guide our own [and most beautiful] choice to love and share with!
The Brazilian Supreme Court yesterday decision is, in fact, a landmark… Maybe to free up those men and women from the chains of disgrace and shame when saying “yes” on the altar, in front of… God. Whose God, a propos? Probably the One picked up to be their God… Maybe not. In the end, let us consider that this remarkable decision especially rules that $$$-gay rights will be finally respected, such as retirement benefits, inheritance, health benefits, and other $$$ questions… at least… But what could be argued concerning those brothers and sisters who suffer from the very discrimination and violence on [large or] small-life avenues just because they… love… or make love… or walk down the streets with their [different- or] same-sex partners… or this… or that ― it does not really matter!
Ah! Maybe those who do not still have $$$ to state their “sexual orientation” to the eyes of society will keep verging on solitude, and discrimination, and violence… Or, which would be better ― to the corporate scheme of selling forged dreams: maybe there will be a day in which they will invent a new and extraordinary shopping mall to commercialize misfortunes [mine, yours, anyone's]! Maybe…
Dedicated to those who still believe that life can be lived-tasted by everyone and the world, inhabited by selves ― not by consumers… A dream within a dream ― to be considered as a person, not as goods that buy goods or share such patrimony with… What a waste dream, after all... Is it?