Fetishization - The Making Of Fetishes

I just popped into a couple of bookstores in town, and browsed the items on display. Just killing time. No particular wants or needs burning away inside me.
I have that kind of a mood on me today.
I noticed something that I'd only really observed, never codified or put into words. The items on display can't really count as books, as such. More like fetishes.
Some definitions of the word "fetish" -
- "An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices."
"An object (as a small stone carving of an animal) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence."
"An object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion."
You won't believe the difficulty I had, just now, in getting the library computer to generate definitions of this word. They control Safe Search on Google, which means nothing they don't want you to know gets heard. Awful, censorious, Nanny State nonsense.
In a way, making a fetish out of safety and "Teh Kidz."
I looked at the cookery books. Remainder stores and Waterstones alike have an overabundance of them. In fact, Waterstones has so many that, in addition to occupying a whole three shelves right in the centre of the shop floor, they have had to put in an overflow shelf to accommodate a surplus of them, each book carrying a happy, smiling celebrity face or bearing a celebrity name.
Reading a Jamie Oliver book won't somwhoe magically make your bad, lousy, tasteless cooking over into a banqueting masterpiece. I can only imagine that people buy these useless books so that, somehow, a book carrying the smiling face of a celebrity chef will magically do the job and transform you, or simply the trash you microwave, into something as juicy and tasty as the crap they serve on the television.
The television. Pixels glowing on a screen. Cookbooks. Just words and pictures books. The pictures and dancing pixels, the words, won't feed you. Even if you tear open the pages and eat them, it's just paper.
The pictures won't transsubstantiate into magic food when it hits your belly. Nigella Lawson won't magically walk into your kitchen and transform you into a master chef. But people want to believe it.
This is why people collect art, and will kill or steal for originals, and why they go apeshit when something turns out to be a skilful forgery. It isn't the money, even though an obscene amount of it does change hands. It's the possession of the Thing that counts.
Or perhaps it is the Thing, the fetish, imbued by the mind of the owner with mystical properties, that is doing the possessing.
In the end, who's the property? Why do we call something a "belonging?" People belong to groups. People identify with a group. We belong to our associations. Perhaps this is a more abstract form of possession, too.
But who owns us, if we are caught up in our need to have things? Is it we who own a thing, or is it the thing that, in the end, owns us?

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