Posted by: ithacaisdoomed | May 22, 2010

UnThink!

Sorry it’s been a while…It’s planting time here in sunny Ithaca. Spring works in a funny way here—you catch the first glimmers in February—the sun’s strength increases, some of the birds begin to sing—and then it’s slow and steady until about mid-April, as you track the progress of Spring with the bloom of each new plant or what seed you’re putting in the ground. Come May, it’s an all-out frenzy to take advantage of the increased warmth, day length, and time, always a battle against time, when you have to leave the dew-scented garden to get to your job.
I’ve also been kinda depressed. The mercury in the Doomometer has burst its protective tube and is now leaking into the Gulf of Mexico along with 100’s of thousands of gallons of oil a day. I’ve been awash in feelings of powerlessness and despair, like a Pelican coated in crude, black slime. I’ve been resorting to some of the more juvenile types of activities in order to keep myself sane:

Watching The Colbert Report on the interwebs eases some of the pain, allows one a few hearty guffaws of the liberal intelligentsia breed. While watching, though, I’ve been bombarded with the same, seemingly asinine commercial for a sick new Kentucky Fried Chicken product :

UnThink!

 The KFC Double Down–Two slabs of grilled chicken with bacon and cheese melted in the center beneath the grand slogan, Unthink. The idea, I suppose, is that we should“Unthink,” as defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “to put out of mind,” what we previously thought about KFC, namely that it sells products that are Unhealthy. One would definitely have to “unthink” to eat these two slabs of greasy, carcinogen laced meat from tortured, anti-biotic residue ridden factory farmed Mcbirds, not to mention some abused Mcswine thrown into the center and some factory farmed Mc Cheese melted in for good measure. Eating such an abomination is eating of the very body of death.
The commercial would also lead a man to believe, if he were to unthink, that eating this execrable thing will increase his manhood, that eating such a thing is a manly need, instead of something that will, in all probability, cause a man to grow breasts, due to the estrogen-mimicking chemicals that might be present in it. This all just goes to show that you can’t “unthink” the devil, for I’ve never consumed a KFC product in my entire life. The torturous show continues to roll on despite my lifelong boycott.
However, the idea of Unthinking has really taken root in my mind. After all, there are many thoughts I’d like to “unthink” right now. UnThink tm. It’s such a great slogan, right out of 1984. It reminds me of “Quietus,” the  suicide kit people could obtain free from the government in the film Children of Men. I get that same sense of over-the-top propaganda from the ads, as well as the fact that eating a few of these things could accomplish the same purpose. That old bastard Edward Bernays himself couldn’t have come up with a better motto for our age. Try as you might, you’ll never Unthink your way out of what writer Joe Bageant calls, the American Hologram. We’re all trapped in this lie together, so you might as well turn on another episode of American Idol  Anus before working on your homework for that college degree you’re getting in “Perception Management.”
Unthink. It’s like a Zen koan in one word—“what is the sound of one mind unthinking?” Repeated viewings of the KFC commercial have caused in me such cognitive dissonance that I’m beginning to think Unthinking might even be a subversive, or at the very least, mildly useful activity.
So, I tried it.

At work the other day, I was stuck in a meeting, seated across from a woman who had no notion of the proper amount of body spray to apply to her, unfortunately Amazon sized, body. She positively reeked of petroleum-based fragrance. Molecules of scented propylene glycol were swarming into my olfactory nerves, causing all systems to shut down. I was just about to fall asleep to escape the situation when I had the brainstorm, “How can I Unthink my way out of this situation?”
Right then and there, I unthought us all into a, post-apocalyptic future and indulged myself in the morbid fantasy that her fetid corpse would probably smell worse than the deluge of body spray. When that began to seem a bit unfair, I thought of her misery as she was forced to confront the reality of her own woman-stink as the just-in-time distribution system broke down and she could no longer get her hands on Secret Vanilla Sparkle Body Spray.
Needless to say, UnThinking, has become a daily diversion of mine. I have unthought the phrase “think outside of the box” uttered by a work colleague into “Help! I’m trapped inside this box!” I unthought a small bowl of yogurt into a huge tub of ice cream. In fact, I’m unthinking even as I sit in this office chair staring out my window at the puffy clouds. I’m unthinking my way out, the memory of chairs and desks erased from my body as I run free under the blue bowl of the sky.
When I was in high school, I ran for student government on an anti-ignorance platform. I would stamp out ignorance within the students and teachers of my school and usher in a new age of enlightenment. How I would exactly accomplish this, I never specified, but I had great campaign slogans, such as “The dinosaurs died out because they were ignorant. Don’t let this happen to you.” If only I had known then, that 20 some odd years later, the perfect campaign slogan would be invented—Unthink! As our Amerikan Empire slouches onward to Gomorrah, Unthinking has become the new norm. I only wish I’d thought of it much sooner…

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Responses

  1. Isn’t it an ironic turn of language that UnThink should be used by the very bastion of corporate food control …….. you couldn’t get a more perfect combination. Unthink … just do. It is the opposite of redreaming. Good to read you writing again though i too have been locked into spring garden mode. It really is a small window of opportunity!


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