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.
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