If there is anything that America loves more than guns, it’s binaries. You’re either this or that, you know? Democrat or Republican, Jock or Nerd, Slime or Goo, Ghoul or Ghast, we all fall into one of two categories. These binaries must be maintained under any circumstances. They were designed by our corporate overlords as a way to better define us and thereby better control us, so they can never be altered, bent, or changed. Although this can be seen just about anywhere in the country, for some reason I am most aware of the oppressive gender binary when shopping at Old Navy.
But, you know, I gotta get those deals.
The next thing that strikes you about the Old Navy, whatever that even means, is that the entire place looks like it could have been thrown together 30 minutes before you walked in for all you know. Don’t believe me? Look closely next time you visit to buy a t-shirt with the American flag on it. Of course you need another one, you only have 12. You will see upon closer inspection that most of the clothes and the facade they are hung upon are not actually there. They are a trick of the eye.
Try to reach for one of these shirts and your arm will be caught by an Old Navy employee you hadn’t notice hiding behind the slacks. They will ask that you check another section, as this one is ‘closed for maintenance.’ You won’t understand their meaning, but a cold wind in your soul will tell you to follow their advice. These are the illusions they have us under. This is the lie they have been spinning.
But this is what you should see: the fleeting nature, the impermanence of it all. Everything can be taken down. Everything can be destroyed. Everything can be built up again. Only this time better, stronger.
I believe we can build this better world, without conditions and without binaries. But we’ll never get there while Old Navy still exists. They will be the first to fall, mark my words.
Mark. My. Words.
This article spilled from the pen of Nathan Ellwood. Follow him for more just about everywhere @NPEllwood.