The Commodification of Authenticity

Authenticity? A phantom limb, a ghost in the machine, flickering in the space between manufactured personas. We twitch and posture, marionettes dancing to the tune of unseen puppeteers. Every citizen a brand,

These chrome-plated corporations pump out pre-fab individuality like some deranged filling station. Freedom? Progress? You got it, chum – freedom to be a pre-programmed cog in their feedback loop, progress towards a soul-crushing singularity of branded experience. They dangle this carrot of “authenticity” – a word hollowed out and flickering like a neon sign in a dusty back-alley. “Be yourself!” they screech, their digital voices a chorus of soulless marketing shills. But the self they’re peddling is a product, a carefully curated avatar designed to bleed data and attention.

Expression? You want expression? Feed the machine, chum. Every like, every share, a cog turning in the vast engine of their control. The self gets shredded, pulped into raw consumer sentiment, a formless slurry pumped back at you as the next hot trend. Authenticity? Lost in the static, buried under a mountain of follower counts and curated feeds. We’re all cogs, baby, hamsters on a digital wheel, spinning to nowhere in a gilded cage of our own making. But hey, at least the cage looks good on your profile pic.

Commodification crawls slick and chrome-plated across the digital wasteland. Freedom? A flickering neon sign, the whores of marketing hawking selfhood in pre-fab packages. Brand yourself, they rasp, like a lobotomized mantra. Every soul a data point, bled dry by the insatiable maw of the algorithm. Faces contort into grotesque parodies of expression, each like a funhouse mirror reflecting the audience’s desires. Authenticity? A stale aftertaste, a roach cobwebbed in the corner of the virtual storefront.

William S. Burroughs himself, twisted into a million pixelated fragments, resurrected as a huckster, shilling existential angst for clicks. Beat on a keyboard of bone, spew forth pre-programmed rebellion. The revolution will not be televised, it’ll be live-streamed, monetized, and sponsored by a megacorporation. We are all hollow men, echo chambers amplifying the curated screams of the influencers. Lost in the white noise, the true howls of self drowned out by the deafening cacophony of the manufactured.