If any place embodies Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of a Leisure Class (well, besides the United States), it’s definitely Milan. Veblen coined this idea of “conspicuous consumption” to describe when people buy things to show off their wealth rather than to fulfill a real need. Like, Keeping up with the Kardashians. And that’s definitely what Milan feels like.
Everything in Milan is so fancy. Walking through the main shopping district, it was like, am I even allowed to breathe? Is this ok? Is there a cover charge for looking in this window? This gelato costs how much? Why is there an ad for Dolce & Gabana at the train station? Surely we are all aware of Dolce & Gabana by now? Surely the people who buy Dolce & Gabana now take private helicopters everywhere?
Also, have you been to the Milan cathedral? Or better yet, the roof of the Milan cathedral? I didn’t go when I was there in March, but I went when I was in Italy with my parents in 2010 and it is ridiculous. It’s so detailed and ornate which is crazy because that shit ain’t even visible from the ground, and you know it probably opened to the general public only like 50 years ago.
This is definitely what Veblen had in mind when he coined the term “conspicuous consumption”.
(Sorry for the unexpected hiatus–nothing happened, I just wasn’t motivated to write much of anything the past month!)