and churches of our souls. Those are the things going through my head everytime I go to a shopping mall or one of those huge shopping centres where you can buy anything from artificial nails to ketchup and shoe polish as well as canned tuna and pizzas. These new hypermarkets have a peculiar effect on me. I become one of the walking dead, a creeping automaton that shuffles from aisle to aisle grabbing anything that falls into my hands. My theory is that the neon lighting in these hyper-reality-stores has a hypnotic effect on its victims and puts us in a comotose state where we buy things that we didn’t originally intend to.
Little did Dr. Ali Javan know that his ‘great’ helium neon laser, invented in 1960, will be used to such devious effect by the big retail chains. The neon lights resonate at ‘whatever’ Mhz, which is precisely the right wavelength to annoy the hell out of our eyes and push us into this zombie-like state. Cunning.
While I was walking into shelves last week – on Sunday – I noticed that the hyper-victims were behaving rather like church-goers, worshippers kneeling before their God, consumerism. I am the way, the truth, life. How can one argue with ‘10%-reduction’ or ‘buy-two-get-one-free’ doctrine? The shortlived yet unhappy religion that is mass consumerism has become a cult here in Poland. What is hard to fathom is the fact that public spending needs to be kept at a low level in Poland due to economic circumstances, but people go on buying binges every week. Amazing. The long lines of queues at the tills resemble the faithful waiting for the Holy Wafer (the Holy receipt). People no longer go to church, people go shopping. This is the new cult.