[Marxism] Consumer Culture

Stacey Barber emusis at adelphia.net
Thu Apr 29 16:09:01 MDT 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <g.maclennan at qut.edu.au>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 9:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] RE: Radical Homosexuality

"Certainly (and elsewhere as well) - but there is an increasing late
capitalist tendency to treat ALL people, not just gay people (and note that
the references to gay people in these debates are almost invariably to gay
men, rather than lesbians), as consumers rather than citizens.  The struggle
against this is, or at least should be, a quite fundamental issue for all on
the left.  And correspondingly those on the left should fight those sectors
of affluent gay culture that can be the most aggressive proponents of
consumerist society.  "

Well, there's a real push to redefine the public service sector in terms of
customer service.  I just got my Masters of Library Science and the buzzword
at a lot of my classes was customer service.  Instead of dealing with people
who come to the library as patrons, they're to be dealt with as customers,
as the "Let's be just like Borders" mentality infiltrates the library world.
In a certain sense, the move of some libraries to introduce espresso bars
into the the libraries is a move to try to beat Borders at their own game.
Certainly with the slash and burn that has been going on in terms of the
funding for public libraries, selling lattes is looked on as a source of
revenue to keep the library afloat.  But I don't want to work at Borders.  I
want to work at a library.  There's even been some efforts to repackage
librarians in the media as being intelligent and sexy instead of old ladies
with buns and glasses who like to go "Shhh".  Maybe if I wore a miniskirt to
work, the adolescent boys would be too busy contemplating my legs to get too
rowdy, and when I bend over to give them their espresso, they can get a good
look at my chest.  Or at least hope the library doesn't decide to take the
tact of Starbucks and have the knack of hiring cute girls and / or trendy
looking youth to be the baristas.

Stacey B.

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