BRUCE DAWE POETRY
"Every society has mythology. In some societies, it's religion. Our religion is consumerism."
Consumerism is an inescapable part of today's society, dictating humanity to conform to an empty routine that is devoid of any real meaning. It possesses an almost ethereal influence over the modern lifestyle, and glorifies an unattainable sense of perfection as the ultimate achievement in life. This concept is demonstrated by Bruce Dawe in his poems, Enter Without So Much as Knocking and Breakthrough, as well as in Brandon McCormick's Consumerism! The Musical and David Fincher's 1999 film, Fight Club.
In Enter Without So Much as Knocking, Dawe accentuates how the value of present-day culture has diminished under the absolute authority of the mass media. Through a fast paced-representation of an everyman's life, he shows that existence has become little more than a struggle for material goods. The continued use of personal pronouns, such as in "in his / mother's arms" and "what he enjoyed most", reflects the loss of individuality that is experienced as humans are forced to submit to consumerism. By never explicitly identifying the persona, Dawe is able to comment upon society as a whole and satirise its distorted perception of life. The sarcastic tone in "littered with stars / no-one had got around to fixing yet" and "realistic like every other … money-hungry back-stabbing miserable so-and-so" highlights the twisted superficiality that now dominates the world. Ironically, one must be "money-hungry" to be deemed "realistic", whilst natural beauty is regarded as "litter" that requires "fixing". A similar idea is portrayed in "beyond the fifty-foot screen where giant faces … [made] monstrous love"; here, the oxymoron shows that simply through an association with the mass media, even something as pure as love can be corrupted. Furthermore, "winding the whole show up with a / nice ride out the underground metropolis" is a...