A profound change in culture since the late twentieth century is the proliferation of
different products and advertisements through television and new media. We see in the news the importance of consumers for keeping the economy growing, and we are constantly targeted as consumers, as marketers try to get us to buy their products. A question is, does consumerism distract us from fundamental and important aspects of life? To what extent has consumerism become foundational to our lives, in that we help to create our identities through the things that we buy?
Question 1: “Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die and then go on to experience uterine rebirth or Judeo-Christain afterlife or out –of-body experience or a trip on a UFO. . . Here we don’t die, we shop. . .Supermarkets this large and clean and modern are a revelation to me. I spent my life in small steamy delicatessens. . . In cities no one notices specific dying. Dying is a quality of the air.” (38)