Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On resisting marketing

This is a very well-thought, at times overly heavy article about resisting the fake thrill that advertisements and consumption give us.  It gives a philosophical basis for something that more and more of us are realizing--that mass consumerism offers only a false satisfaction and should not only be passively avoided, but actively rejected in our daily lives.  This is difficult for those of us who put it into practice--getting rid of your TV, constantly critiquing the images you're fed, teaching your children about the immorality and lies of consumerism, all these seem like heavy, joyless exercises, and in the midst of a community full of avid consumers, you can easily come off as some sort of a radical.  After all, why would you shun enjoyment?  (I've run into a similar feeling as I at times consider that perhaps we should limit the constant search for new scientific knowledge and technological "improvements" and opt instead for contentment with the constant and the proven).  And even after taking these seemingly drastic measures, it's always easy to fall back into the lull of seeking out shiny new consumer pleasures, or taking comfort in a familiar brand from childhood.  Of course the author's correct answer is that true joy comes from sincere creation (and I would add love and family and community), not from consumption (which is often inherently destructive of the self and others).  But it's hard to argue for boring old love and free thought and creation when you're faced with shiny, polished ads and brands and breathless bullshit.  Anyway, this article gives me strength and inspiration to keep up the good fight!

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