you have got to be thin, or you will not be allowed to fit in,

you have to be of a certain complexion, or you face summary ejection,

you just have to be cool, whatever that means now, or you will be called an ancient cow,

you have to make money, and a lot of it is a must, or you will be kicked down with your face in the dust,

you have to be of the right religion, gender, of course preferably male, and the right caste and creed, or you will damned forever to hell indeed,

you have to be a social butterfly, a party-goer who smokes and drinks, and it does not matter if the air around you stinks,

you just have to be a part of the current in-crowd, bragging about their cars and houses, spewing ostentatious drivel ugly and loud,

you have to walk and talk and wear the latest brands, and it matters not if your thousand-buck clothes were sewn by little hands,

you must always smile, be convivial and be the perfect host, or face the wrath of their bickering while they with crocodile smiles make a toast,

you must have the trappings of wealth, the latest model german car, or you will hear them all sniggering at you from afar,

you must holiday in places expensive and exotic, and regale all with your travellers’ tales, or they will jab you with their well manicured nails,

you must brag about your achievements, for there is no room for anyone who stumbles, falls, or fails, for that massages your machismo, and makes you winners and alpha males,

you just have to try the latest diet, own the latest gadget, and follow the newest fad, or your life will be judged to be oh-so very sad,

you have to have a complexion fair and pale and bland, always trying out the breakthrough skin-lighteners, or hide yourself with your head in the sand,

you have to have and do and be all of the above and more,

though always know,

that you will never be complete,

even as you suck greedily,

on capitalisms’ diseased teat.

art by banksy