In our times, the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter are elevated to divine status. Is there no end to the perfection that these little deities can achieve in my life?
Food is no longer an enjoyable source of physical nourishment. It is transformed by foodists into a pagan sacrament. The more global, the more time-consuming, the more explosively seasoned it is, the more it approaches the status of edible food. If and only if it is perfect, it conveys a moment of ecstasy in which I am one with the food.
Clothing is no longer a dignified protective covering for the body. It is an expression of my unique and worshipable personality. Whether I buy from high-end designers or from the lowest of thrift stores, I must express myself perfectly through many, many pieces of clothing. Behold, the real me!
Shelter is no longer a personal, protected space for daily living. It is the seedbed that must nourish that most finicky of hothouse plants which is me. In addition to protecting me from intruders and the elements, my living environment must energize and relax, challenge and inspire, welcome and astound me and my visitors. We all must curate our homes to optimize every function of our lives, at whatever price tag necessary. And this is an ever-evolving project.
The old conceptions of food, clothing, and shelter may be afforded the status of basic human needs or basic rights. How long until the new conceptions are also deemed basic needs or basic rights? Has it already happened? Aren't the cable networks that focus on these needs essentially educating us to believe it?