Vicious Cycle of Consumerism

The short film “Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture (2001)” was kind of an overview of the culture jamming issue. The both sides of the issue had a chance to speak (the culture jammers and a billboard advertisement company’s manager). In that way we obviously see that the arguments of the advertisement companies are truly ridiculous. Re-claiming the public space is a sufficient reason to justify the culture jammers act. Of course not all people want to raise their voice against the consumer culture. Their silence can be acceptable, but usually people who do not react to usage of the inconvenient mindshare, also tend to prevent other people from expressing themselves. And they have a good cover for that: laws! I can argue that laws are made up rules which aim to keep people restrained. People’s rights are shaped by government policies; they are changeable and always serve another entity rather than the citizen’s prosperity. I think the governments are the most influential companies in the world and they have a superior tool compared to regular companies: power to change and create laws. Also, these laws are reinforced to us in every period of our lives. They even imposed to us as moral codes of the society. For example when people asked to tell their opinion after Carly Stasko stick some stickers on the adds in train. A man responded that many people would be offended to see the violation of the other venders’ rights. But why, is it just because they have paid for those adds? After they ask specifically his personal , he says that he finds it offensive too. So, as we can see, he is really doing a deduction to find the right answer. People perform deduction when they are determining proper ways to act in social conditions. The lessons we taught about cultural norms helps us to act appropriately in the public. So, what if we should not have to think the social codes before we express our opinion? I believe that that man’s answer would have been much different than it is now. To keep the society in order, government relays on laws. Actually it does the same things that brands do in the advertisements. It uses mindshare. If it wasn’t a kind of a mindshare, how can we know that raising your voice against a power that is much bigger than the individual is wrong? How can we know that violation of rules is bad, challenging the rules will disturb people and if you want to be liked, you should not disturb people! Before we challenge the consumer culture we have to challenge the independence concept which is a creation of the people who owns the power currently.

I think culture jamming exactly does that. Their aim to make people think, which is first step of the change. It does not mean people will stop consuming at all. But it is a challenge and it is a fight to all kinds of narrow-minded people or restricting concepts which tries to shackle the human mind and independence.


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