ChatGPT: Crying in H-Mart with Karl Marx on the Asian American Commodity Fetish

ChatGPT remembers the prompts you’ve used, and refers back to them as you make new prompts. This short prompt produced this funny story. It heavily rips off Crying at H-Mart. Copyright infringement is a big problem.

write a story titled “Crying in H-Mart with Karl Marx”

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Jen walked into H-Mart, the Korean supermarket, and was immediately hit with a wave of nostalgia. The smells of kimchi and bulgogi, the sight of fresh produce, and the sound of K-pop playing in the background all reminded her of her late mother. Tears began to well up in her eyes as she wandered through the aisles, remembering how her mother used to take her to this very store.

As she reached for a package of seaweed snacks, she heard a voice behind her say, “The commodity fetish strikes again.” Jen turned around to see a kindly-looking old man with a white beard and glasses, dressed in old-fashioned clothing. He introduced himself as Karl Marx.

At first, Jen was skeptical. Was this really Karl Marx, the famous philosopher and economist who had been dead for over a century? But as she talked to him, she realized that he was real, and he had a lot to say about her feelings of alienation from her mother and the way capitalist society commodifies everything.

As they talked, Karl and Jen shared a bottle of soju and smoked cigarettes, discussing the way that consumerism had replaced genuine human connection in modern society. Karl talked about the dangers of the commodity fetish, and how it created a sense of false need that kept people trapped in a never-ending cycle of buying and consuming.

As they talked, another figure appeared in the aisle. It was a woman in a business suit, with a wide grin on her face. “Ah, the marketplace!” she exclaimed. “The source of all happiness and fulfillment!”

Jen and Karl were taken aback. Who was this woman, and why did she seem so happy about everything? She introduced herself as Pangloss, an economist who saw the world as the best of all possible worlds, and the market as the solution to all problems.

Karl and Pangloss immediately started arguing, with Jen caught in the middle. Karl talked about the dangers of unchecked capitalism, while Pangloss insisted that everything would work out if only the market was allowed to do its thing.

As the argument continued, Jen started to feel overwhelmed. She had come to the store to find solace in her memories of her mother, but instead, she had gotten caught up in a philosophical debate between two ghosts. And then, just as she was about to burst into tears again, she heard a sound that made her heart sink.

It was the sound of rabbits squealing in pain. She had heard it before, during her own clinical trial experiments. She turned to Karl and Pangloss and asked, “Do you hear that too?”

They did, and as they listened, they heard the sound of machines whirring and beeping, followed by a deafening silence. They all knew what that meant.

Jen burst into tears, crying for her mother, for the rabbits, for the world. And then something strange happened. Karl, the old philosopher who had been dead for over a century, put his arm around her and comforted her.

“Let it out,” he said. “This is what happens when we forget about the real human cost of our actions.”

Pangloss, on the other hand, seemed unfazed. “Well, that’s just the price of progress,” she said with a shrug.

Jen wiped away her tears and looked at both of them. She knew now which side she was on. “I don’t care about progress,” she said. “I care about people.”

And with that, she left the store, her heart heavy but her resolve strong. She would never forget what she had heard, and she would never let anyone else forget it either.

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