Review of Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn

Topics: Mass media, Advertising, Publishing Pages: 11 (1968 words) Published: October 18, 2006
The advertising culture is having a devastating
effect on our agendas of

becoming the media's ideal of perfection, and behind all of this self-sacrifice the

media and corporations are the ones succeeding, not us. In Culture Jam, by Kale

Lasn, the founder of Adbusters magazine, he attempts to show the reader what our

mass media has been doing subliminally.

When the average American thinks of consumerism, we believe it is the promotion

of the consumer's interests. What Lasn believes is that we're being told what our

interests are and to buy into those false interests. We've become disconnected with

ourselves and our own interests to fit those that our corporations have designed for

us. He uses an example of taking your family to the forest for some alone time to

brave the elements and come closer as a family, but after only a few short hours

becoming so bored that you begin self-destructing due to lack of technology. Our

children have become so reliant on consumerism that they can't possibly enjoy any

of the senses you have to use in your most primitive
state. After only a short while,

they show signs of grief and withdrawl. He writes that we should prioritize the earth

as number one, and get back to the basics of feeling that the earth is one with us. If

we have this way of thinking, we won't look at helping the environment as something

self-serving, but more like helping out a part of our family. As humans, we've learned

that buying creates happiness, or so we believe. Most of the time, we're living in a

world we've created for ourselves through the consumer process. The environment is

what we have purchased; there are no trees or fresh ponds. We become

compulsive shoppers when we're bored with our lives, and we look for outside

factors to fill those gaps.

As a country, we have the most diagnosed mental ailments in the

world, even though we're the richest also. This is due to Americans being able to.

We can validate our pains, discomforts, and social anxieties through means of

doctor's notes. Why we're feeling this way is due to an "unknown" cause draining us

of our happiness, and Lasn feels that plentitude is our problem. We have the ability

to purchase whatever our hearts desire, therefore there is no satisfaction in earning

these rewards in life. We don't have any driven motivations other than monetary,

and it's making Americans as a whole, feel meaningless and dull without

recognizing it. The media industry thrives on this problem, and leans towards

emotionally satisfying us (which we allow with little-to-no defiance) through false

feelings of joy, sadness, happiness, anger, discomfort, and intimacy. We watch

television and relate to the characters, but don't honestly have the true-life

experience to back this feeling of relativeness. The media fills us up with these

emotions, and we have no where to release them, creating a feeling of despair after

the 30-minute show is over. Also, our media is destroying our sense of empathy.

Corporations show us these shocking and appalling images in order to jolt our

minds into a way of feeling, and over time we just become numb to them, forcing the

media to come up with another "drug" to feed to us in order for them to achieve the

same success. This is why sex and violence have become so intertwined into the

mainstream; they're the last forms of taboo nature, yet they're everywhere and no

one seems to notice, which brings us to our next topic.

Mass media is now being owned by all the same large corporation

tycoons. When one person owns all our radio and television stations, and

newspapers, are we truly receiving an unbiased report? The ability for smaller

forms of media to challenge the thoughts and opinions of these corporations is

becoming harder and harder, especially when...
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