Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Advertising

According to the psychologists we presently reside in an age of diminishing expectations. And since all of us are products of this enormous bubble denominated the social reality, we don’t expect much. We actually believe that the future is “selling less of more.”
In other words, we expect little from life, society and our culture.
A syllogism:
The poor get poorer
The rich get richer
The poor shop at Wal-Mart.
We become self-fulfilling prophecies. Because we expect little, we get less. What we get is: Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Costco, and other retail behemoths. These monstrosities are the cancers of an economy based upon mass production. And mass production demands organized consumption and leisure – “the culture of consumption.”
The media becomes the messenger, and the message is this: you have needs of which you are unaware, and unless these needs are met you will be unhappy, dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Advertising informs your ignorance; it “is the method by which the desire is created for better things,” said Calvin Coolidge.
The prevalence of advertising, MTV, reality TV and the cult of celebrity engenders a society dominated by appearance and fame. Image is everything. Value as a human being now rests upon the pivot of prestige, the illusion of prosperity, the chimera of fame. Indeed, advertising no longer exposes products; now it produces its own product: consumption. Consumption is presented as a way of life. ‘Get a life’ means go out and buy some stuff. Stuff will make you happy. In fact, stuff – like computers, PDAs, I-pods, big-screen plasma televisions, cars, clothes, etc., will cure your loneliness, sickness, weariness and sexual dissatisfaction. Do you feel empty? Stuff will fill the void. Maybe a trip to Hawaii, where you will be surrounded by pristine beaches, and profulgent female mammai, from which all blessings gush; or maybe a new car will make you happy. And, if it doesn’t, well at least it will make your friends and neighbors jealous. And that will make you feel better about yourself. Right?
Wal-Mart has what you need to change your dull, bland life. And there’s one right down the road. Do you envy your neighbors? Wouldn’t you rather they envy you? Of course you would! Wal-Mart can solve your problem. Go buy some stuff.
However, what they don’t tell you is that these behemoths aim at the domination of a class, a domination which recognizes no overriding supremacy of personal freedom. Succumbing to such advertisements is nothing but an inward abdication and resignation, or a craven hope of escaping reality by means of the ‘mysticism of stuff.’
Rich people don’t shop at Wal-Mart. They’d rather be found dead in a ditch. Rich people shop at small, exclusive shops such as Nieman Marcus, which compared to Wal-Mart is a boutique.
Throw off your chains! Free yourself from your class. Shop locally. Shop the independents. Shop from ShopFromHomepage, which caters to real companies offering real products.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Tisha! said...

Powerful analysis! I believe just the opposite of what the psychologist do that we expect too much because we think we’re entitled to it. MTV recently did a study on youth and happiness and found that the youth in developing countries were so much happier than those in developed countries. I will be writing about it next week on my blog. My theory much like yours is that our consumption society is controlling us rather than us controlling it and we are made to believe that we have to have this, that and the other item and like you said we are not happy when we don’t.

I really enjoyed reading this thought-provoking and insightful post!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

You Tisha, easily see what is happening in the world around us. Big business has always tried to dominate our lives from what we eat, when we sleep and how we control our record levels of depression that I firmly believe is a result of the manipulation.

Is it any wonder we have to take so many pills? It would not surprise me if there is something in the pills that tells us to go eat at McDonalds, buy a Toyota, eat beef, vote Democratic( that one is not quite perfected yet )...

We can only feel safe if we go back to our roots where people like ourselves will take care of us. Shop locally. Shop the independents. Shop from ShopFromHomepage, which caters to real companies offering real products.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anita said...

No matter how much I WANT to shop the locals, I always get drawn back to Walmart and Super Target. It's just TOO darn easy to get all my shopping done in an hour, even if the stuff is junk, than to drive around to 5 different stores.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Warning: Girls Having Fun said...

I really like what you say here. I hope to start bringing more "real content." I cannot stand Wal-Mart. I lived in Texas for years and always supported the little guys there, but Texas favors the WMs of the world

6:45 PM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Hi Anita: It really is easy to go to a Wal-Mart and find just about anything. Many people dread shopping because they do have to drive all over town. If you were able to find just a few merchants nearby, it may actually be a pleasant experience; of course, many shops don't advertise for your business and that is what Sam Walton capitalized on.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Warning! I'm from Houston where Wal-Marts are propogating everywhere. Houston's merchants of opportunity tend to thrive in this city because they understand business; they want your business and they try to get it.

I agree that it appears the majority like the large 1 stop shops: if the local merchants want our business, they need to atleast try and let us know where they are. It's not because we want to go to Wal-Mart, it's because we don't know where else to go. Owners need to "Get on the Map!"

9:02 PM  
Blogger Tisha! said...

Thanks Lex, we need to get back to the basics I can't say that enough!

12:29 AM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Tisha, your such a sweetheart!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous My Point said...

OOH-RAH! Lex!! Thanks for the link over to My Point!! I'll get this one up on too.

Semper Fi! Lex

6:05 PM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Your welcome David, hear ya soon!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Let the market work. What the people want, the people support.

I like Costco. I think they provide a valuable service to a large number of people. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't shop there.

You don't like it, so you shop independent merchants only. There is enough business to go around.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Thanks for your economic insight Marie. Costco serves a purpose just like Wal-Mart and I would not want you to shop anywhere else. The market will always work, some of us just want to know where the market is near us so we don't have to drive 20 miles to a "Costco" and walk a mile to the front door and then another 3 miles inside looking for those great deals. But I do like those greeters that say, "Thanks for coming by"

10:38 PM  

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