Are We Consumers of Our Lives or Products of Them?

Eleanor Catton:

There are no wrongs. There’s just choice, and choice is neutral, and we’re neutral, and everything is neutral, and everything’s a game, and if you want to win the game then you’re going to have to optimise yourself, and actualise yourself, and utilise yourself, and get the edge, and God forbid that you should have an actual human experience of frailty, or mortality, or limitation, or humanity, or of the fucking onward march of time – those are just distractions, those are obstacles, they’re defects, they’re inconveniences in the face of our curated, bespoke, freely fucking chosen authentic existence, and sure, we can never quite decide if we’re the consumers of our lives or the products of them, but there’s one thing we are damn sure of, which is that nobody on earth has any right to pass any judgment on us, either way. Freedom in the marketplace! It’s the only thing that matters! It’s the only thing that exists!

Mira’s imagining Tony’s rant against the current state of things in the novel Birnam Wood, p. 265.