The Dream Machine is the latest must-visit location for the Instagram-addicted influencer who’s already taken a selfie at the Museum of Ice Cream. But are you really dreaming when you’re in a space designed by someone else — and when you’re waiting in line with 100 other InstaFans? At The Baffler, Zach Webb looks behind the Dream Machine’s whimsical facade to pick apart its seamy underbelly. (Spoiler! It’s capitalism.)

But herein lurks an irony: by immersing yourself in a temporary reality of populated meme-crap, you are purchasing a reprieve from the Bad News World. “Dreams are an escape,” claims founder Johnson in an interview with amNewYork, and “with the world we’re living in and the feeds that inundate us with bad news, we don’t really [get a break]. We wanted to have a space that is a respite.” In practice, however, the Machine both assaults and abets…

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