Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Empty selves at Starbucks

"Walk into a participating Starbucks with your laptop, iPhone, or iPod touch and buy whatever’s playing — along with millions of songs on iTunes — while your latte cools."

Now you can listen and buy songs at the Starbucks from you own laptop... "while your latte cools". God, that's what I always needed! I can imagine Apple had thought: "what can we do now to make even more money?". And who can blame them? After all, it's the very notion of consumerism that is keeping the modern economies running. But at what price? Clearly, this latest move by apple doesn't meet a public need. As a matter of fact, it's the dumbest product I have seen in years.

I don't want to be moralistic in this. But perhaps, it is appropriate to quote Philip Cushman, introducing the notion of "empty self" as a characterizing feature of human beings in modern societies.

"The empty self is soothed and made
cohesive by becoming "filled up" with food, consumer
products, and celebrities.... The two professions most responsible
for healing the empty self, advertising and psychotherapy,
find themselves in a bind: They must treat a psychological
symptom without being able to address its historical
causes. Both circumvent the bind by employing the lifestyle
solution, a strategy that attempts to heal by covertly
filling the empty self with the accoutrements, values, and
mannerisms of idealized figures. This strategy solves an
old problem but creates new ones..." (Cushman, 1990, p. 600).

Read his entire artice here. (pdf)

Sunday, September 02, 2007


The city, lightened by divine blessing, raises its middle finger as a symbol of gratitude.

"Toronto seen from Ward's Island"
By Sam Javanrouh

Friday, August 17, 2007

Two Evils

My life is disturbed by idiot Muslim fundamentalists, and their evil counterparts the Western enlightenment terrorists, the populist Muslim haters. Not a single day goes by without these evil demons screw up the human intellect with their non-sense pseudo-logics.

Let them attack each other till death prevails. I wouldn't actually mind it, if they wouldn't make the whole society go down with them.

An idiot once said that religion is the source of all evil. I think not only religion, but any ideology is potentially dangerous. Forget about ideologies, let's go back to our roots. Let's rediscover what we really are. Let's get back to our farms and cattle. Baaa baaa... They are calling us....


Let me know what you think of this. I haven't made up my mind yet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


A few months ago, one of my colleagues died, while mountain climbing in Scotland. They said he had an heart attack….

Disbelief is probably the first reaction people have, when they hear such news. Now, I can’t deny it: I’m fascinated by death. Isn’t it strange that the most important event of human life is, in fact, its very end? Or perhaps it’s not even that important. There are many other interesting things about death, like the fact that it’s obscure, mysterious… and inevitable.

Today, I was caught surprised by another sad news. A person who I used to work with had died a few weeks ago in Italy.

Why do people travel so much these days?

The strange thing about death is that people’s reaction to it is not all about empathy; it’s also existential fear… fear of your own death. For one moment, you’re off guard. You’re faced with the senselessness and unpredictability of you life. A moment of insight and vulnerability, just before your damn barriers of denial take over again.

It feels strange that I just booked a ticket to Scotland… and Italy is on the schedule for August.

Read one of my other posts on death here.

Friday, May 04, 2007