Have you ever read a book called "Space Merchants" or its sequel "The Merchants' War"?
If you haven't then you should; and if you have you will understand what I'm getting at when I say that this show is being run by advertisement
I've long held the belief that had Shakespeare been alive today, instead of writing "All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely
players..." he would have written: "All the world is an advertisement, and all the men and women merely consumers."
When was the last time you actually bought a product and not its packaging, advertising and hype? This goes for people, religion, politics, food,
toys. If it's not advertised then people think it doesn't exist; if it's advertised, people want it; and when the advertiser tells people they
don't need it, they don't buy it.
(I'll not spoil the books for you)
In the Space Merchants (written in the '50's), the world is dominated by advertisement agencies. Governments are sold to and bought by an
electorate through advertisements. Real meat and vegetables are advertised as being unhealthy, unclean and poor substitutes for their synthetic
replacements. Neuro-Linguistic Programming and other covert idea sowing techniques are used to implant ideas into people's minds. Any person (rich
or poor) can be made a non-person in the twinkle of an eye. Sound close to somewhere you know?
In its sequel (written in the '80's), The Merchants' War, synthetic drugs are used to hook people onto products, the forms of advertisement are
expanded so that product withdrawal starts even before the advertised product has ever been used!
Both are set in a future not too distant from now. You might argue we're already in the beginning of it. In them, it's treasonous to mock or talk
against advertisers and consumerism plus those who oppose it are labeled "terrorists"
You're probably wondering, "What the hell is this guy going on about. How is this relevant to today?" Take a look at these threads:
Meat must be rationed to 4 portions per week
WARNING: Media NLP Danger! READ!
In our modern consumer world, when something is bad for business or progress, it is made to go away:
real animals take up too much land that needs be used for industry or housing, they taste better than their substitutes (so they don't/wont sell
well) which they have a shorter shelf-life than. So now we're being told we need to ration our consumption of them. Next we will be told we don't
want to eat real vegetables; or
a particular politician could damage business for whatever reason so he/she gets less media coverage.
I'm not looking for replies to this thread, I just want to "advertise" the two very important and extremely relevant to today books. Perhaps
reading them you will be able to put today's world into perspective: Government works for business; business works for itself; and advertisement
agencies (including news media) make and break businesses. Following that equation, who holds most power: Government, Business or their
Being honest, everything is an advertisement. Whether we advertise ourselves to a prospective girlfriend or boyfriend; or we "sell" ourselves to an
Advertisement in itself isn't bad but at the moment we live in a world where our lives are dictated by media advertisement and endorsement (or not).
It might not directly influence the eyes-wide-open members of ATS but be sure it influences those unenlightened and through the many it influences
(society's majority) it tacitly dictates facets of our lives. Be it who our governments are/is, how we talk (think about buzz-words), who we date
(ideas of desirable traits), what we eat (the available foods), the freedoms we have (what will people give up for security), how we feel (about
ourselves, others, other nations) and the rest.
Please have a read of the Space Merchants and the Merchants' War (Google them for their synopses). You'll feel better and wiser for it.
I think it's time we push for responsible media advertisement and endorsement i.e fact not fiction, no opinion, true sincerity, no contrived
(specially selected) statistics, no uninvolved product usage (e.g no music to sell a non-music product), no intentional mistakes (spelling,
pronunciation, word usage etc), no false adjectives and adverbs. It may make advertisements boring but at least people wont be duped into wanting
something they don't need, want nor like; and we might just be able to have happier, less frustrated, more genuine lives.
[edit on 30/9/08 by Rapacity] Edited to correct "wide-eyed" to "eyes-wide-open"
[edit on 30/9/08 by Rapacity]