Shakar’s other, related crucial idea is that of the paradessence (short for “paradoxical essence”). “Every product has this paradoxical essence. Two opposing desires that it can promise to satisfy simultaneously.” The paradessence is the “schismatic core” or “broken soul” of every consumer product. Thus coffee promises both “stimulation and relaxation”; ice cream connotes both “eroticism and innocence,” or (more psychoanalytically) both “semen and mother’s milk” (60-61). The paradessence is not a dialectical contradiction; its opposing terms do not interact, conflict, or produce some higher synthesis. Nothing changes or evolves. Rather, the paradessence is a matter of “having everything both ways and every way and getting everything [one] wants” (179). This is a promise that only the commodity can make; it’s a way of being that cannot be sustained in natural, ‘unalienated’ life, but only through the artificial paradise of consumerism. I don’t know how familiar Shakar is with Deleuze and Guattari; but his analysis runs parallel to theirs, when he has his marketing-guru character declare that the pure form of postirony and paradessence is literally schizophrenia (141).