So claimed Douglas Coupland, many years ago. I doubt that book has suddenly become a bestseller.
Curiously, the Mecha-Pastors of America, who robotically assemble moral opinions for mass consumption have been notably silent on whether God was actually punishing Japan in the recent tragic earthquake and tsunami followed by nuclear meltdown. One might conclude from their uncharacteristic quiet that God doesn’t actually wrathfully punish wealthy nations.
But in place of the late Jerry Falwell blaming the earthquake on gender ambiguous Manga characters or John Piper telling us the Fukushima reactors were preordained to meltdown to display God’s glory, we do have that other ubiqitous example of late-Modernity’s moral confusion- the charity fashion product.
Slate.com have a slideshow of all the hipster posters and designed tshirts you can buy to raise Japan from the rubble or something like it. The (RED)emption of the Japanese infrastructure can only be achieved through the glorious spending of money on items of cool. Tom’s shoes will fill those tectonic gaps!
On one basic level the Slate article is spot on:
It seems petty to point out that much of this work is rather
But the idea of such work is actually grotesque. Hanging a poster commemorating a charitable drive after an earthquake is the opposite of taste. The production of a poster that isn’t intended to be hung is the opposite of stewardship. Whatever way you cut it, Jesus’ advice is the best to follow. When giving, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing. Equally, don’t emblazon it on your chest, print it on your mug or hang it on your wall.
If the case is not already self evident, let Slavoj Zizek hammer it home:
Your Correspondent, Refuses to judge an ebook by its jpeg