Consumerism and the Growing Influence of Corporations

By Sylvia Chan
Published on July 17th, 2021

i was walking in a narrow cove with a heart full of daring

and a head full of terrible song and a passing knowledge of first aid

should the occasion arise, of course (Sorry to hear about the trouble - YouTube premium offers an ad free experience when you watch videos)

dropping breadcrumbs behind me as i venture into the woods

grasping a rusty machete and a frayed length of rope, cresting a

mighty ravine from which sprung forth a

Sprite® (#thirstforyours) wrapped in clanking chains that looked somewhat like jewelry – with its metallic glimmer and piercing glow -

who led me through the mist (Axe – find your magic!) and down a slick winding path

into the scraping stomach (Fit Tea ™ - SAY GOODBYE TO BLOATING, INDIGESTION AND LOW ENERGY)

of a barren valley strewn with tiny flashing lights that turned the leaves red and pink and orange and the sky green and the rocks purple and cast everything else

into jagged shadows of deep impenetrable darkness

it was as if a paintbrush had been carelessly swiped over the world and turpentine (Vicks® VapoRub™ - Topical Cough Suppressant) had sloshed through everything else

and the sprite reappeared, batting its eyelashes (ENHANCE THE LASH – Lash Elixir Kit by The Queen Pegasus Corp)

“hello” it said

“hi. what are you, exactly?”

it gave a quick smile

“i’m you,” it grinned

“no you’re not”

“yes i am”

“no you’re not”

“yes i am”

“what’s your favourite flavour of icecream?”

“Ameri-cone Dream ® Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge-Covered Waffle Cone Pieces & a Caramel Swirl. From Ben and Jerrys.”

“well, that’s not my favourite flavour of icecream”

“what is?”

“that’s not the point. what are you?”

it made a vague shushing noise, and led me to a tall bamboo pole fitted with neon straps and flags

“come here,” it beckoned

“why? and what is that?”

it opened its mouth to respond, presumably, but a sound unlike any other ive heard flitted out (Caliper CBD – Powerful CBD powder, Backed by Science) and it was both excruciatingly loud and too soft to hear

tear-inducing, almost

but what’s more i could see it and it was not unlike looking through a kaleidoscope, except you don’t find yourself strung up to a bamboo pole by plasticky neon straps after picking a normal kaleidoscope up

unfortunately, that’s where i was

“hey! let me go!”

“maybe later”

the hours passed and the colours of the leaves and the sky and the rocks started to melt until they went dark too

the sprite returned

“are you thirsty?” it asked with an air of great concern

“well, you’ve got me tied up here. what do you think?”

the dark returned quickly, this time, and it comes with a bite. it seeped from the feet into the ankles, up the fingers and the arms, stinging and unrelenting (TYLENOL ® - For What Matters Most)

the sprite returned again

“are you cold?” it asked. it sounded less concerned this time.


“are you thirsty?”


it brought an aluminium can to my lips and tipped its contents into my throat, wrapping me in a technicoloured blanket made of fur and gossamer

“where do you get all of this?”

“it’s not hard to find”

“what do you mean?”

“excess is everywhere” (Dolby Atmos – All Around You)

“so is scarcity”

as the days slipped past i became less sure of that

the sprite came to the pole every morning in a haze of light, bringing gold and silver and myrrh and all the mortal delights

soon enough it cut the neon straps, but i stayed, waiting

waiting for the dawn and for the rising sun to bring me my golden riches

there was little to do, even less to want

until one day it rained turpentine and it all seemed grey and empty

and the sprite’s teeth suddenly seemed a lot sharper than it did before

and the pole stiffened and splinters started to grow into my skin

and the nights i spent waiting turned into nights i spent despairing at myself

so i ran and it didn’t stop me

up the valley across the plains back to the cove

when i realized my arms were bleeding profusely and my ankles were purple and swollen and my throat blistered up

“hello” the sprite said



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