So the M&Ms store exists. It is a huge, four-storey shop in Leicester Square that is always completely packed, that smells of stale M&Ms because they pump this M&M smell in through it like it is some sort of M&M bakery or something, and that sells a mind-bogglingly vast range of M&Ms tat, as if striving towards a world where, Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius-style, all human culture is replaced by its M&M equivalent. It is an astonishingly weird and utterly audacious project made all the more disturbing because apparently, for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit this store every day, it is just completely usual that this store exists. You can go there with someone and be the only people in the store who seem to see it for what it is. It is really one of the great sights, one of the great experiences in London, exactly for that reason.
Further to this bizarre, ‘total’ approach to marketing that M&Ms seems to have taken up, they have produced a series of glamour shots involving the sexy green M&M character, which as a body of work are so disturbing they’d probably have given Francis Bacon bad dreams. Consider this picture for example:
According to the caption that accompanies this picture where I found it, on the sexy green M&M’s personal twitter feed (do not ask why I was looking at the sexy green M&M’s personal twitter feed), this image is supposed to depict a ‘swimsuit shot’ the sexy green M&M has undertaken in Antartica for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. That is: the sexy green M&M is trying to shunt Kate Upton out of reality by assimilating her to the ‘flirty’ archetype that she, as green M&M, embodies. M&Ms, as far as I can tell, want to do this with every single human individual in the world, assimilating them under one of 6 M&M mascots, as eternal types (Yellow, Blue, Red, Orange, Brown, Green).
But this is not, of course, why the image should be, just look to at it, so viscerally horrifying. In this alleged ‘swimsuit shot’, the sexy green M&M is wearing no swimsuit. Instead, she is apparently zipping off her shell, to reveal the chocolate underneath. There is all sorts wrong with this, and it is not just the apparent implication, on behalf of whoever is behind the demented M&Ms marketing campaign, that we should want to fuck the green M&M. It is the fact that the shell seems like it should be, intuitively, best understood as her skin, which she is peeling off, in some horrific parody of an attempt to seem sexy (This is, moreover, complicated by the fact that, on her human, all-too-human arms and legs, she has what looks like actual human skin).
So, when the sexy green M&M poses and, as it were, ‘shows off her chocolate’ to the viewer, she is really showing off her raw flesh, she is unconcealing a wound. But the colour of the flesh, as brown, indicates to us not simply flayed flesh, but rotten flesh. So it is not just a wound that the sexy green M&M is showing off: on some level, it is her very death itself.
And she is chocolate, of course, all the way down. This is very apparent in the above picture, where the sexy green M&M has discarded her shell entirely and now stands completely nude (also just pause a moment to take it in and let your mind break a little with the knowledge that someone chose to make this thing). There is thus no aspect of her that can be penetrated (she melts for no one). Underneath her thin, protective candy shell, lies something posing as sex, but which is in fact death.
So it will be for all things if the M&Ms store succeeds in its mad quest to replace every aspect of human civilization with its M&M equivalent. The M&M mascots, as mere anthropomorphised candy chocolates, cannot themselves reproduce, they can only mimic. Once they have managed to assimilate every human achievement and individual under the sun and re-describe it in terms of themselves, as M&Ms, there will be nothing new: it will be the complete ossification of the world, at once brittle, rotten, and impenetrable (and smelling of stale M&Ms like the store does). Moreover, they cannot even mimic very well. Everything in the M&Ms store is tat; none of it has any point, and in order to complete their vision whoever is behind it has to rely on puns so lame they are non-existent (just look at their histories, involving figures such as ‘Lord Orange and Lady Green’, or the one t-shirt in the M&Ms store obviously supposed to be evoking James Bond but just calling him, ‘Blue’). In this sense perhaps we want to say that the M&Ms store is something like the ultimate realisation of capitalism, as reification. But it is not even reification, because instrumental rationality is not even involved anymore. It is the pataphorical abstraction to capitalism’s (as it were) metaphorical abstraction from the life-world. But believe you me, it is coming, and before you know it we will have naturalised our existence as one of 6 different types of M&M. The first warning sign will be when you can only achieve orgasm by thinking of a totally spherical, chocolate woman.