“What are these? Are they chocolate chip?”
What they are is an expression of my desperate need — and yours as well — to appear good because we believe that by appearing good, we will actually be good, despite the fact that our small, humble, and (I would say) pointless actions in the service of a virtue we adopted mainly because it seemed countercultural, which this bake sale to “Save the Rainforest” — as if anything can be saved in a global neoliberal economic landscape of relentless progress, i.e. destruction — represents, reveal nothing but our own selfishness, for, understand, we are trying to fight the tide without first trying to move the moon, and thus our mission is doomed from the outset.
“OK, cool. And are these cupcakes regular, or vegan?”
Here are the facts. We are a nation in which citizens define themselves by what they buy and consume; in which every sector of the economy, from tech to energy to real estate, is dominated by ruthless capitalists who want to make as much money as quickly as possible by annihilating the competition and securing favorable market conditions from those in political positions of power, while shifting the cost of externalities like the destruction of the natural environment away from themselves and onto the public; in which celebrities are viewed as having innate and uncommon wisdom in areas far outside their expertise simply because they appear on television; in which, absent a coherent spiritual tradition, people view those with money and power as the holy class; and in which lies and propaganda in the service of channeling anger and hatred toward an oppressed minority remain the best way to gain attention and support. In short, we are a country that deserves Donald Trump for president, and I believe we are a country that will get Donald Trump for president. The cupcakes are half-off.
“Hmm, I’m thinking maybe these — are they bonbons?”
If you look closely, what you’ll see is a recently baked commodity assembled from far-flung ingredients connected only at the point of purchase, ensuring that you the consumer have fuck-all idea of the conditions under which the workers who created and transported the ingredients worked, and have zero real clue as to the actual quality of the ingredients themselves, the end point being that you are completely alienated from this quote-bonbon-unquote, forcing you into the role of passive, ignorant consumer — a role that those with economic and political power want and indeed require you to fulfill in order for their power to remain unquestioned and to seem as natural as a river flowing into the ocean.
“Do you do this every Tuesday night? Are you on Yelp?
I can’t help but notice that your table is located in an
alleyway behind a T.G.I. Fridays that’s closed because
of a health code violation.”
What we’re on is a path of radical enlightenment and consciousness-raising in the service of workers’ rights, an end to racism and sexism, and the protection of the natural world so that our planet and its people can live with dignity and respect. We are also on the Internet, though the website recently crashed because we stopped paying for it, which is just another example of the Internet’s ideals — free and open communication, democracy, transparency — being undermined due to the insatiable greed of our country’s ownership class. We do have two Yelp reviews, but the bad one is from my mom who thinks I should “give up all this idealism stuff” and “work on a farm or as a doctor or literally anything.” She is not part of the movement.
“So just six cupcakes then.”
Here you go. Enjoy. There is a sign-up sheet to the right if you would like to join our non-hierarchical, commonly-owned workers’ council of bakers and craftspeople. This is not a joke to us. We are looking for someone who knows how to get the right permits.