Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I expound

I realized today that my enthusiastic ravings about No Logo the day before yesterday might be overly vague, so I wanted to follow up with some thoughts.

I have always felt extremely affronted with the breadth and depth of marketing in our lives. It is everywhere. While I don't think it is wrong to sell a product, I do think that we have reached the maxed-out level of insanity where living in an ad-saturated environment is so normal that it doesn't even phase us anymore. Or, even worse, we don't know what life is like in any other climate than this. It is normal to be advertised at, so much so, that I think a lot of the population would ask, "What is the big deal?"

Klein talks about "branding", where the product companies sell takes second place to the allure of the image they are hawking. They are selling an aura - an essence - a lifestyle. The public is being sold a dream - the promise of greater affluence, beauty, intelligence, even creativity - by a carefully crafted media blitz. What they are selling isn't even tangible, which is what makes this book so terrific: it actually provides form to the mist-like vapor of the promise of consumerism in our lives. (Even the government tells us to spend more, as an act of patriotism.) This lie is extremely seductive for all ages and people, even those who are aware of it. No one is immune.

If you have any interest in this topic at all, No Logo is an astute cultural criticism and wickedly funny. I'm about half-way through and have found myself chortling frequently. It is well-worth the read.


lil' mama said...

I like your book reviews. You make me want to read them:) I just picked up The Dance of Anger from the library today.

a. borealis said...

I love knowing that!! I always enjoying hearing about what other people are reading about (and talking about what I'm reading myself) - it is a great way to read stuff I wouldn't have otherwise run into. I can't wait to hear what you think of TDoFA -- you'll have to email me your reflections. I'm interested.

Eric said...


Driving about Minneapolis today between visiting Nerraj and picking up my aunt, we were driving down Penn Ave and low and behold at the intersection...Cuppa Java. IT brought back memories of you guys taking me there on two occasions.
1) When Dale and I "stayed" over one time during Christmas. Wait, Dale never came home real late...
2) One time with Emily and you guys and we went out for Breakfast there.

I liked seeing that little place and being reminded of times past.


Eric said...

Sorry for so many typos, need to go get Eleanor up.


Dani said...

I love your book reviews too! I'll have to check this one out too! :)

SHIRK said...

First-time poster, long-time lurker. I respect the intentionality of your lifestyle; many of your observations are dead-on. I appreciate that your tone doesn't vilify us factory-meat-eaters; you let your premises, experiences, and research do the talking. You typically use positive statements rather than polemic. If you're going to win over anyone who doesn't already lean your way, this type of rhetoric is best. Keep on doing what you do! Blessings.

a. borealis said...

Matt...or should I say, 'Captain'. =) What a pleasure! Thanks for the compliments and feedback.

I love blogging for the very fact that I can share my thoughts with others while keeping family and friends abreast of our activities and sharpening my writing skills. Additionally...I have always been a bit on the enthusiastic side, so when I'm discovering something I want to tell EVERYBODY. Blogging extends that influence a little bit.

Are you in contact with Sam at all? He is leaving for Afghanistan in a matter of days - and will be there for all of 2009. (He also just got married in October.) You can find him on Facebook. It is amazing how similar a path you have followed in the past decade.

Greetings to Carrie & the kids and I can't wait to see that new little bundle of love, Cowboy Hat!