Unspecial delivery

All day long, delivery trucks trundle through the neighborhood. The Postal Service, UPS. FedEx. And a whole lot of Amazon Prime. It has never been more evident that in a capitalist society, Americans’ primary role is not citizen but consumer.

On the one hand, what a world we live in, to be able to click a computer keyboard a couple of times and have a logistics army spring into action to deliver whatever we want, right to the door, in less time than it takes to deep-clean your garage.

On the other hand (said the octopus), what a world we live in, where so many have ceded responsibility for that basic task of adulthood – getting stuff and bringing it home – to a behemoth corporation.

I have a friend who refuses to order from Amazon, on philosophical grounds. Which at this point seems a little like refusing to plug in your toaster because it contributes to global warming. The juggernaut is bigger than all of us.

But it’s worth maintaining a healthy skepticism in the face of the New World Order. For one thing, the legend on some Amazon Prime trucks reads, “Caution: Contents May Cause Happiness.”

Well, maybe. For a moment. But then your Add to Cart finger starts itching again. Happiness? I’ll take hot coffee on a cool fall morning any day. I get it at the grocery store.


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