Thinking more about Branding, as a personal and sociological concept, and getting extremely dizzy.
The very idea of the concept implies fundamental ownership over something. You brand cows. You brand chattel slaves. I'm not about to espouse some wanky nonsense about how we're all slaves to industry, though - that's trite and boring and probably appropriative.
I'm more interested in the way Branding has become so normal we do absolutely bizarre things to ourselves over it, both psychologically and physiologically.
Does one crave McDonalds - shitty hamburgers, secret sauce that tastes like stale spunk, odious exploitation of the human beings under its thumb - because one likes shitty hamburgers, secret sauce that tastes like stale spunk, and odious exploitation of human beings?
No, fuck no, absolutely the fuck not. One craves McDonalds for two primary reasons, says I - because the food is stuffed with shit that our Lizard Brains crave, and because the Brand (deceptive, seductive, whispering in the ear like Kaa or some other fictitious reptile) proclaims, loudly, that it is Good Times that will make you Happy.
And because the last 100 years, especially the last 50 years, have seen a massive socioeconomic shift towards ceasless nose-to-the-grindstone Cannibal Holocaust Capitalism, things have dovetailed so as to be extremely profitable for Ronald, Grimmace, Hamburglar and the other terrible beasts of McDonaldland. Food deserts, ghettoisation, gentrification. We live, most of us, all but hand to mouth, with no real time to cook food to perfection or contemplate storming the Hallowed Halls of the Borgeoisie and throttling them with their own intestines.
But McDonalds is there. Big, round, golden arches. Do they evoke big Marge Simpson tits, full of milk? Answers on a postcard. But they for certain evoke, because of Branding, the Branding in our squishy grey matter, the concepts of happy fat cows merrily marching off to slaughter, of secret spices and lovingly-prepared patties and happy times between Dad and Daughter. We eat the gym mats and we salivate over the spunk sauce because McDonalds is a Brand, and Brands, corporate or personal, are brandings on your brain.
Personal Brands are worse, somehow. False frontages installed on decaying Human Selves, the arcane manor houses of our personalities ignored because there's a gargoyle (or was it a grotesque? Must remember to investigate further) shaped like Ridley Scott's favourite son. We generate hugely complicated artifices, network them with the extant Branding that's engraved on the inside of our skulls, and then we die, die, die for Darkseid until we're incapable of doing anything but yelling in however many characters Twitter lets us until we turn our icons black and never log off.
"I. AM. THE. NEW. GOD."