The You Decade

by Apr 10, 2007

wewantyou-sm.jpgChristopher Hitchens proclaims this the “You Decade,” where everything revolves around… you:

A room-service menu, for example, now almost always offers “your choice” of oatmeal versus cornflakes or fruit juice as opposed to vegetable juice. Well, who else’s choice could it be? Except perhaps that of the people who decide that this is the range of what the menu will feature. Fox TV famously and fatuously claims, “We report. You decide.” Decide on what? On what Fox reports? …

The next time you see an ad, the odds are increasingly high that it will put “you” in the driver’s seat. “Ask your doctor if Prozac/Lipitor/Cialis is right for you”—almost as if these medications could be custom made for each individual consumer. A lawyer or real-estate agent will promise you to address “your” concerns. …

Tourist posters are even more absurd. I saw one once for Cyprus, showing an empty beach with the slogan, “Keep It to Yourself.” Probably at least a million of these were printed and distributed, with the result that the hotels on the island blocked out the sun on those unspoiled beaches.

Churches are also getting in on the ubiquity of you-ness. Last year, I saw a ginormous sign hanging on the front of a church for a while. You can probably already guess what it said: “We’re here for you.”