In celebration of Amazon buying Whole Foods for fourteen billion dollars, this morning drones will deliver free-trade-wine-saturated organic communion wafers directly to your seats.
“It’s great to be an American,” to quote Randy Newman.
Amazon announced their intention to buy Whole Foods on Friday. On the same day in Oakland, California, the Museum of Capitalism officially opened for business The museum is, perhaps, not what you think it might be. This free attraction presents capitalism as if we were looking back on it in a world where the capitalism was no more. Exhibits include artifact Target and Wal-Mart bags (made to look aged) and an interactive exhibit that walks you on a treadmill through a virtual garment assembly line in China. I encourage you to visit the Capitalism Museum, and when you do, be sure to stop by the gift shop.
I’m not joking, there is a gift shop.
It is fascinating to imagine that capitalism—a system that is such a given in our lives, a system that is adored by many and embraced by most all of us in the form of our consumeristic tendencies—could ever be a thing of the past. So many of our cultural values are derived from our role as consumers.
Even our concept of hospitality is affected by consumerism. People of other times, other cultures, and different geographies have viewed hospitality as a means of survival, but we tend to think of hospitality as a necessity of etiquette and a source of entertainment. And in most of our hospitable interactions, there is an exchange of goods: dinner guests are generally expected to offer something like a bottle of wine, wedding guests are expected to pick something off the registry at Crate & Barrel, and overnight guests are supposed to be “courteous” and not spraypaint the host family’s cat.