posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 04:44 PM
While I'm sure that my ideas are not new to anyone, I thought I'd get some reactions to this possible correlation between these two subjects.
Now that the US economy is in a very severe downturn and many notable economists are predicting total USD collapse, the question as to its root cause
remains up for discussion. While the obvious answer is that the situation arose from conspicuous spending on credit, what is still left unanswered is
It seems that the culture of the US has produced at least two generations (Gen X and Y) that constantly compete for the status that is shallowly
achieved through material possession. The old ideal of "anything is possible in America" has run itself into such a frenzy that gone are the days
when hard work equaled monetary reward and, in-turn, the ability to purchase luxury goods. Currently, the general mindset is towards instant
gratification (i.e. sub prime mortgages, massive credit card debt, massively deflated interest rates, etc). How did the American ideal change?
The answer, at least in this author's opinion, lies within the Hollywood entertainment industry. Film, television, celebrities, tabloid news, and
designer brand names have become such a staple in the lives of everyday citizens that the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality is
extremely blurred, if non-existent. The "brainwashing" process begins at a very young age and moves steadily through middle-age through "reality"
programs and channels such as MTV and VH1. Young and impressionable teenagers "connect" to the stars they see on these programs and the material
possessions they are seen with, which subconsciously makes them yearn for the same possessions. In fact, the soul of marketing lies within this
Compare, for example, television shows from the 70s and 80s to shows of the 90s and 00s. Hasn't the quality of living on fictional sitcoms increased
dramatically for the characters portrayed and the realism as to how they can live that way decreased? Think of "90210" or "The Hills" or
"Friends" any show of the same nature. They portray characters who slide through life based on what? Their hard work, nose-to-the-grindstone
personalities? Absolutely not. Instead they sustain themselves based on their wealthy backgrounds, good looks, and unrealistic professions (i.e.
professional actor, author, musician, etc.).
The question that we as a country must ask ourselves is this: can humankind really handle true freedom or does true freedom lead us to greedy, envy,
self-destruction, or any other combination of poor behavior? Can the entertainment industry be turned around to portray actual reality (with maybe a
little flair for entertainment)?
I'm interested to see what others might think of this concept.