The 'Supermarket' section
By Curious George
23 December 1998
Slightly edited by fravia+
With an additional introductory 'small essay' by fravia+: European
23 December 1998
Well, I would be scared as well if the information provided by
Curious George should be confirmed to be true. I need a confirmation
because I must admit that (until now)
I have personally never encountered something that scary. Somebody wrote recently that
a reality cracking essay was "not only a shopping list from +ORC's
supermarket theory". Nice words, yet I believe that
-as you'll read in this very document- +ORC's
great clever past seeds are still FAR from
having been completely exploited... man, he wrote his Supermarket enslaving tricks in march
1997... that's EONS ago in Web-time... and we are still far from really working on
As soon as I read Curious George's essay, I wished to add a
couple of observations of my own, which I deem useful as a possible
Said comments of mine will now follow, and
regard specifically many
'European 'motor-road malls'. (I'm sure that my friends in the States -and elsewhere-
will have very similar targets).
Anyway I have seen -and unfortunately experienced- these horrible things all over Europe (M÷wenpick
in Switzerland, 'Three goose' in Benelux), but I will use a
"made in Italy" example that I unfortunately had to endure once more
during my last trip
-per car- to Venice (in Italy, still a town without any car whatsoever, very nice
the stupid political local populace is more and more succeeding in
transforming it in a sort of stupid (and useless) commercial cross between Disneyland
and San Marino).
To understand what follows (if you are reading this outside the European
Union or in the middle of nowhere) you must know that
there are some huge 'super-malls' built across the
Italian motor-roads (called 'Alemagna' or 'Pavese' or whatever).
I cannot understand why the
hell someone in his right mind would want to sit down for his
rare minutes of relax during a journey smack in the middle of a motor-road.
I believe that's sort of a masochistically oriented attitude, and that you would
act that way only in order to watch even more cars running by (actually
under your nose)
at full speed... funny enough, after having
tripped so many kilometers among (pukeworthy) zillions of similar cars...
These malls are such an abomination... one wonders:
why don't they build small cottages and rest places
'in the green' instead, with no noises whatsoever,
small tables and soft music under high shadowy trees, why don't they offer you
a quiet place of silence, a small place where all the slaves
that finally managed to escape for half an hour their car (or their Bus,
or their lorry) would for a precious couple of minutes NOT be compelled to
see, smell, touch, experience the frantic
lurid traffic they had to endure during their whole journey?
This kind of developments puzzle me quite a lot. Is it a purposefully
prepared torture from
some sadistically oriented power that be? Or, more simply, is it due to the fact that
no low limit whatsoever in the idiotically European mimicking of every
awful solution or trick that has been concocted -and applied- by the
contorted' American minds?
Anyway just try it for the sake of it and stop on your journey when you meet
such places (quite a hard
lesson to learn if you ask me, yet useful indeed). Stop there
and have a cold long 'reverser' look around you (yes you are a green slimy alien in
this context of happy idiots... just look, evaluate,
register and send back info to this galaxy... pink funny stupid
earthlings around you wont understand that you have come from the 'reality
cracking academy' of Aldebaran :-)
Loo! These malls are so structured that you WILL NOT find your coffee
or your toilets on the ground floor... you'll have to take an elevator, or a lift,
to the first floor... but it will take you nevertheless quite a while to get to
the 'level exit' (like in Doom, thinking of it... may be we should treat
all our visits to a supermarket like a doom game... :-)
The criminal layout of these sites (I would like to dump the architects that
studied and prepared these 'commercial killing fields' in the middle of a motor-road,
possibly with a cement block around their feet...
:-) will compel
you to cross a labyrinth of interminable crappy products on offer... in order
to finally get your simple coffee... the layout is stupid but effective: in order to get to the bar or
to the toilets
all visitors MUST go through the whole assortment of overpriced salami,
cars, videos, whatever crappish and totally useless they want to sell you (and always overpriced:
anywhere in that country the same products would cost you less than on those motor-road
malls). Once you have drunk your coffee or used the toilet you'll have -once more-
to go trough a maze of crap in order to go out and continue your motor-road journey.
There's absolutely no way you
can avoid this torture. What is really funny, btw, is that most of the ubiquitous
'cretini con telefonini' and 'coglioni con gipponi' (the
main 'categories' of Italian citizens :-) seem to like it a lot. Moreover
of the 'objects on offer' seem to be 'casually' stapled (in reality they are
very artfully positioned... you feel as
if it would just be so easy to pick some of them en passant), most of them hinder
your movement through this commercial abomination. Therefore the
only defense I was able to invent at the moment was to simply walk trough
this seaweed of commercial crap WITHOUT caring
the least about all the artful posed salami-mountains and "die cast car models"
landscapes, 'reversing' (in the
simplest -yet quite effective- sense of the word) mountains of them :-)
Ok, I notice that this simple addition is getting too long... should you send
feedback I'll try to extrapolate a real essay out of it...
fravia+, 23 December 1998 (Snow is in the air!)
the discount supermarket
by Curious George
23 December 1998
There is a particular chain of discount supermarkets where I live
called "food 4 less". They claim that you will save between %20
and %50 off of the same item from a different regular supermarket.
Well, I tried shopping there once. Very first thing I noticed
(lucky me, I read +ORC's essay before coming here, thank God)
was that there was ONLY ONE entrance. The slaves were FORBIDDEN
to enter at the other door, the ONLY exit.
Now being immediately suspicious I go in with one of the
unusually large trollies. I see that I have no choice of
where to walk. So, I turn left. It turns out that the whole store
is positioned in a maze. YES! There are not normal grids of
isles, instead, the shelves are organized so that there is only one
path through the store. More than this... there are some turns that
lead to dead ends, on purpose of course.
So, I decided to wait in the middle of the
maze -like a spider- and watch the slaves wandering up and back in
a daze. Most of them were a little apprehensive (where is the escape?). But
the soft muzik and the pretty meats and veggies made them "feel
good". So, I noticed they would pass me with their trolly almost
empty (all of them had "huge" trolleys) and their shopping list finished.
I thought: that's it, they are clever enough, after all,
I won't see them again. I was
wrong: A few minutes later, I would see them return in a daze....and
dissapear again. So, after a while; and a few more maze-crossing, I saw
them again and again.
Now, take notice, their trolly is QUITE FULL. Also, the shopping list is no
longer in their hand.
So, now that I had my items and that I had finished my obeservations,
I decided to leave. Being persistent
I found the exit (was not so easy after all, though).
Now, here I notice that they have many many cash
registers. Maybe %50 more than usual, even if the store was the same size
as a normal mall. All queues, on the various lines, were very small. Once you
actually found the exit you are supposed to beggar off as quickly as possible, probably.
I also notice there was no "express"
line for those that only bought few items. Probably an almost impossible
and blasphemous event. Then I realized that on the way in there were only
large push trollies, no small hand basket whatsoever! You were not supposed
to buy just a couple of things or just the things you need... you were supposed
to FILL YOUR TROLLEY UNTIL IT BURSTS!
When i finally made it home, I examined my "fresh" products
carefully. Meat had a nice "redness" to it... while in the store.
Yet, when I cut open the
ground beef for dinner, it was much more "grey" inside:
only the first 2cm of the
meat was pink. They probably took old meat and mixed, putting some fresh
meat ontop. This
is illegal where I live, yet they seemed to have done it.
So, looking at my veggies, I noticed some "wax"
on the apples. Carefully peeling off this "wax" I saw that my 'nice'
polished apple has bruises on it. Looking at my milk, eggs, and
yogurt, I see they are the same brand as my favourite store. This is not
in itself. However, even if according to labels the dairy was
supposed to last for 2 weeks, the milk
was thick as cream in just one week.
I suspect therefore they bought old dairy from the usual
supplier of my normal grocery and then somehow contrived to stamp
false 'best before' date onto them. Else I'm seeking an explanation.
I went back a week later to test all this in more detail. For the meats, I
poked a knife into the beef (being careful of the many casino style
camera bubbles... supermarkets are closely watched!).
I constated that only part of the beef was bad!
In the produce area, I did the same test. Once more, only some
of the apples were 'waxed'. And with dairy too, only
some of the milk was of the same brand I normally use, there ware many
other kinds I never heard of. So, I
that they present a mix of products: some almost stale, some fresh,
so that only
at times it really happens that the slave gets real bad stuff,
and anyway he is not supposed to realize that this is only
happening at this "food 4 less" chain. Also, by using bad exemplars from
a brand present on the good
slave will think that his milk from the good store went bad, not that bought
from "food 4
By the way, on my second trip there, I did not buy anything at all. Great
feeling of power, like a scientist in the Savana. Clerks
were astonished to see me leave without buying anything. :)
The second time I was there I noticed that the music in the main
store area was soft and slow. They repeat some songs again and again,
but most of them are new and continuously changing. These patterns would need
more thorough investigation.
there were short ads inside the music. A soft male voice tells you
the special %60 percent discount for an item only available today!
Lighting changes chrominance slightly from place to place. I never saw
a clerk fixing the products, but the products were always fixed. In
exit row, music was different! It was faster. I think there were so
registers so they can get people out of the store fast so they don't
realize they just bought so much that THEY DIDN'T SAVE ANY MONEY AT
off of the total purchase.
In conclusion, I am very scared of this store. I hope it doesnt become
the store model of the future. At least regular stores only suggest
subtle psychology what to do. They don't try to make you. I think
marketers (who are lower in my mind than even politicians and weapon
designers) have become so infatuated with their power over the masses
that they have lost any respect whatsoever for their fellow humans.
This illicit power has corrupted them and they somehow think they are
inherintly superior to the average man. I think though, that if the
continues to be less hidden and try to force more from the slave, the
slaves will start to wake from their slumber.
Maybe I should say, I hope....
I wish you good eating for the holiday's readers!
--Curious George, end 1998.
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