Goodbye Madison Avenue
I scouted Madison Avenue today. This exploration came by accident cause I tend to avoid glamorous street. Nevertheless, I walked, I observed. What did I see? I saw remnants of an old past. A past where consumerism was the dominant religion. Many of us don’t know this but, when science broke the shackles of religion, our forefathers were left with a void. They needed something to believe in, and materialism is what they embraced.
Today, I witnessed the decay of this religion. Madison Avenue is filled with stores. They are all empty. They are all losing money. The owners keep them open as branding statements. They view their loss as marketing cost.
I saw couples walking around… mostly elderly. They were bouncing from store to store, starring at objects. What were they looking for? I saw people sitting around dining. Were they even hungry? I saw husbands being dragged into stores by their wives. Their backs were hunched, their pace was slow.
The thing that struck worst were the security guards. Looking through these glass doors, you can see their face. I will never forget their face. It seemed like they were being drained of something.
This walk at Madison Avenue today was a death walk. A silent, cold death. Exactly the kind it deserves. Religion promised happiness in a future life, so its dupe was harder to reveal. Materialism promised happiness in this one, so its reign is short lived.
Materialism is dying, taking along the consumer economy with it. So what await us? I don’t know… Perhaps a world where we connect more with one another. A world where humans value self cultivation over objects.