"Should Christians produce and market faux items?" That's the question I asked in my last post. I also asked it to a group of advertising students on Friday.
Some thought that the cost benefits and availability justified faux production: "If a consumer really likes fine furniture, but can't afford it or even find the genuine original, isn't it OK to provide knock-off versions for them?"
Others saw faux as an unhealthy way to copy someone else's life. They resonated with this excerpt by Stuart Ewen, author of All Consuming Images, about the "triumph of the superficial" in the Middle Ages:
"Fueled by their desire for franchise and status, the merchant class mimicked and appropriated consumption practices of the nobility.... Conspicuous consumption...was the mark of status. In a world where nobility still ruled, the merchant class seized upon symbols of excess which had customarily been prerogatives of landed elites.... Clocks, once the extravagantly tooled possessions of the few who could afford to own them, were mass produced [with 'the suggestion of fine hand-carving'].... For the members of an expanding middle class, the historically coded look of wealth was coming within their means."
If faux offers a socio-economic escape for me, then I don't want it because it's only an illusory move. That is, it doesn't actually take me anywhere. And regarding the cost/availability argument, I just can't get past the fact that faux is, by definition, false.