All the barriers have slowly broken down in the past hundred years, to the point where the entire world, theoretically, is now your dating pool. So you needed to be choosy and your ability to go out and find your mate became something of a reflection back on you, of your ability to be a successful person in the world.
Almost without realizing it, we have drifted from having market economies to becoming market societies. The difference is this: A market economy is a tool – a valuable and effective tool – for organizing productive activity. A market society, by contrast, is a place where almost everything is up for sale. It is a way of life in which market values seep into social relations and govern every domain.
The spectacle of wealth does not merely enforce consumptive conformity, but also promotes consumption through disinhibition. It plays not merely a coercive role, but also a disinhibitory one by invoking the social magic of costume parties.
“I personally think they should not have real weapons in the games in the first place,” he said. “It’s just bad to link things you can do in a game with tools of death you can use in real life.”
American schoolchildren are protected by building codes that govern stairways and windows. School buses must meet safety standards, and the bus drivers have to pass tests. Cafeteria food is regulated for safety. The only things we seem lax about are the things most likely to kill.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five pages of regulations about ladders, while federal authorities shrug at serious curbs on firearms. Ladders kill around 300 Americans a year, and guns 30,000.
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”