The notion that everyone can be wealthy has supplanted the idea of the United States as a classless society. Indeed, the fantasy that cuts across class is the dream of a world where everyone can be wanton and wasteful as they consume the worlds riches. Endless indulgence of a fantasy life used to be solely the cultural terrain of rich white men. More than any other group they had the power to realize dreams and fantasies. Advertising changed all that. Through the manipulation of images, it constructs a fictive United States where everyone has access to everything. And no one, no matter their politics or values, can easily remain untouched by these insistent narratives of unlimited plenty posthypnotically telling us we are what we possess.
Hypervigilant individuals can turn off our television sets but we walk and drive in a world crowded with advertising. Whenever we seek to purchase any item in our lives we enter the world of advertised images. In recent years, we open bills for basic necessities like water, electricity, or credit cards where the envelopes are now