Thursday, May 02, 2019


Fast Food

Maggie Ross, Silence: A User's Guide, Vol. 1: Process (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2014), p. 21:
Recall the experience of eating in a fast-food joint. The interior is made of molded plastic in nursery colors. It is designed to make you feel as if you had entered a badly made television cartoon. (Life no longer imitates art: it imitates cartoons.) The lines on the floor guide customers like cattle, gently toward the slaughter. As you shufile along, your steps unconsciously take up the rhythm of the background thump and hiss of the broadcast noise. There is a rising sense of isolation, unease, claustrophobia, incipient panic, and wild weeping. The only possible way to alleviate this extreme anxiety is to consume. You reach the counter: "A triple Vacuity, a medium Frozen Scream, and a large order of Lies, please." You are then provided with a blasphemous parody of what a meal should be. The hard plastic stall provided as a place to sit and eat mimics special chairs for children, such as potty chairs; it pretends to offer a haven, while in reality it assaults, removing all possibility of dignity, silence, thought, reflection, or genuine exchange with any other person unfortunate enough to have entered this dystopian nightmare. The only option is to shut down, to go through the prescribed motions: order, pay, munch (huddled and hunched) as quickly as possible, and depart.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

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