Every child goes through a stage when the favorite word is "no." "Terrible twos," it's called.
"Darling, dearest child," we say, "would you please stop smearing peanut butter on the cat?" Quick as a flash, back comes the answer: "No! No! No!"
However long that stage lasts, it is still too long. But hot on its heels is another developmental stage -- the "me want" stage. Unfortunately, this fixation seems to last a little longer than the "no" stage -- like from age 2® until about 106. "Me want" is the cornerstone of our consumer culture. Because we are never satisfied, never satiated, the marketplace can always expand.
Postmodern culture has done an emphatically good job at leaving the "no" stage far behind. Technological advances have helped us come to the point where we don't have to say "no." We don't have to accept boundaries and limitations, or to pick and choose. We don't want to "give up" anything or "lose" one thing. "We want" it all, and we've come up with ingenious ways to ...
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