Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Yuppie's Prayer

'Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my e-mail to keep.
I pray my stocks are on the rise and that my therapist is wise.
That all the wine I sip is white and that my hot tub is water tight.
That racket ball won't get too tough and that my sushi's fresh enough.
I pray my cell phone always works, and that my career won't lose its perks.
That my microwave won't radiate and my condo won't depreciate.
I pray my health club doesn't close and that my Money Market always grows.
And if I die before I wake, I pray my Lexus they won't take.

The Yuppie's Prayer is a great parody, and at the same time, a great summary of the Yuppie era. It is not certain who the author is but it is a widely read insight, as well as being a tongue in cheek look at the shallow and consumerist nature of Yuppie lifestyle in America in the 1980's.

As an observer in 2012 the text is revealing in a number of ways. In the first instance 'The Yuppie's Prayer' highlights the objects and symbols that created the Yuppie ideology, and is an insight into the mind of a typical Yuppie. Email's, sushi, cell-phones, and therapists help to create the image of the Yuppie, and Yuppie lifestyle as fast, frenzied and heavily consumerist; as Yuppies attempted to fit work and play into 24 hours, just as the 'prayer' attempts to fit a plethora of Yuppie-like activities into nine short lines.

Additionally, The Yuppie's Prayer attempts to portray Yuppie lifestyle as an addictive and obsessive religion. In a humourous tongue in cheek manner it replaces the spiritual with the physical in a similar way to which Yuppies did. Like a God, for Yuppies, consumerism was omniscient and omnipotent. It was just the case that instead of worshiping a God, Yuppies instead worshipped Lexuses and the stock market. In fact, perhaps it is more fitting to say that these things were their God.

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