Billions of dollars are being spent to make me want things. I don’t want to fall prey to these huge corporations to fill their coffers, and I don’t want my thinking molded by their ads. I don’t even want my thinking to be molded by the many terrible personalities portrayed in media. I kid myself in thinking I can isolate myself from the influence that surrounds me much as the Atlantic Ocean surrounds a lone fish.
I seek to build resistance to these same influences in my children. The same culture, however, is filled with critical thinking even if it, too, is a fad at times. The recent food movement, part of a cyclical pastoral movement, is no exception. I have read Omnivore’s Dilemma and Farm City among other books on the topic. As a child, I lived through the last surge of food consciousness and spent countless hours tending the fairly large garden in our backyard. All of this push back from mass-produced food and popular culture creates a culture of its own, and that culture is now being fully merchandised and promoted. One of the several toy stores near our house has a display in its window of a whole collection of Playmobil farm themed figures, equipment, and buildings. There are very few farms or farmers nearby, so this offering is about make believe just like the pirates and the castles. Yet, I am drawn to this particular set, and in this I am swayed by the billions of dollars that did research to see what types of adults live in this area and what they would purchase for their children. But, golly, I want it!