What If Cold War Consumerism Never Ended?

In Fallout, the Bomb Scared Americans Underground. In Reality, Nukes Sold Everything But Shelters

Amazon’s new series Fallout starts with the end of the world: News reports of an international crisis interrupt a children’s birthday party, mushroom clouds appear outside, and chaos ensues. The year is 2077, but it feels like the 1950s. In this world, the Cold War never ended, and neither did the consumerism that defined mid-century America.

Two centuries after the opening sequence—when the plot of Fallout shifts into gear—cities are devastated, and communities have descended into violence. But brands endure. Advertisements for “Nuka-Cola” and “Super Duper Mart” litter the …

Could COVID-19 Force Us to Confront Our Consumption Problem? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Could COVID-19 Force Us to Confront Our Consumption Problem?

The Pandemic Changed Us—And We Don’t Have to Return to Old Shopping Habits

It never seems to be the right time to talk about our consumption problem. When the economy is strong, we’re told that slowing our ever-expanding appetite for goods, services, and …

When Human Hair Could Braid Two Hearts Together

Before Chocolates Reigned on Valentine’s Day, a Tuft of Your Beloved’s Tresses Was the Most Fashionable Sign of Affection

In 2016, Americans will spend more than $18 billion on Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. We’ll show our love and affection by buying heart-shaped chocolate boxes, sparkling …