Slog PM: Omicron Makes Its US Debut, How Trump Apparently Tried to Kill Biden During the First Debate, Stacey Abrams Running for Gov Again
by Wednesday at 5:39 pm•
The first case of the omicron coronavirus variant on US soil has been confirmed in California. CNN reports that the individual in question flew "from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive for Covid-19 on November 29." And this person, who is fully vaccinated and said to be on the mend, was on planes for hours and hours and hours. Why people are flying all over the place for such long periods of time during a pandemic is really the only question we should ask. And the answer is not hard to find: A major sector of the capitalism that currently dominates the West extracts its value from the commodification (packaging) of experiences: cruise ships to Alaska or the Caribbean, flights to Hawaii or Mexico, and so on.
The French philosopher and political theorist Andre Gorz called this “compensatory consumerism” (e.g. "alienated workers are supposed to recover their spirits through a package holiday on a tropical beach"), but the British-born geographer David Harvey sees it as the ideal form of consumption for a society that faces the old monster of secular stagnation due to overproduction. Harvey calls it "instantaneous experiential consumerism."Continue reading »