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CON iS of U and ME
by Ray Fuller

It all began fine, with a simple presumption,
About what is meant by the act of consumption:
‘Ingestion of food’ is the meaning we take …
But we eat our own words, when we’ve made a mistake,
And for love we are hungry, when lonely we be,
And if trying things out, why, we suck it and see.
We can chew over things when we can’t quite decide,
And if all else then fails we can swallow our pride.
This stretching of metaphor may seem excessive
But ‘tis nothing compared with new notions ‘progressive’.
I heard on the wireless, it quite outraged me:
We no longer watch but consume our TV.
An audience that views it is now a has-been,
For we nightly devour the flickering screen.
This medium has not our intelligence tested:
No matter what’s broadcast, it’s only ingested.
To terms economic the human condition
Has now been reduced without asking permission.
We’re no longer persons with person-like smiles,
But numbers in ledgers and computer files.
We’ve all become pawns in the businessman’s game,
And the unchallenged god Economic’s to blame.
There’s one thing we’re good for, if I’ve got it right,
Consuming, consuming from morning to night.
The more that we do it, no matter what rank,
The wider the grins on the way to the bank.
Maternity wards are a marketeer’s dream –
Brand new consumers all coming on stream.
To die of consumption was once much lamented,
Today with a medal you would be presented.
Producers, consumers we’re on the same wheel,
A merry-go-round which just makes your head reel:
The faster it turns, the harder to stop it,
For the faster it turns, the greater the profit.
It’s now quite established - to say it I’m loath -
Success of a nation is measured in growth
Of Gross National Product, friend, and nothing less,
Not joy, not fulfillment, not real happiness.
Yes, gross is the word for this prev’lent obsession,
And gross is the state we’ll be in at confession,
Consuming all goods and all services too,
From Art, Books, Chiropody right down to Zoo.
Will it lead us into a Renaissance-like flowering,
This current concern with relentless devouring?
Or must it all end, and it only seems fit,
In a great heap of something that rhymes well with ‘it’.
Or yet could it end – it would cause quite a bother,
In a cannibal state of consuming each other?
No, when we pass on and our coffin they seal,
‘Tis the worms in the earth that’ll have the last meal,
And these words will be writ on our stone at entombing:
Achieved not that much…but was great at consuming.
So its time we rejected economists’ rule,
For far too long now we’ve been ta’en for a fool,
The ‘law’ of consumption is simply not true,
For it’s not what’s taken in, friend, but rather it’s … who.