Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Okay, so I've been thinking about commercialization.... (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Okay, so I've been thinking about commercialization....
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...and am coming to the conclusion that so much of the partisan wrangling we see today is in fact due to the increasing sophistication of modern marketing.

I think we can all agree that commerce is essentially amoral; if it's possible to sell an item through a given approach, marketers will take that approach and sell that item. And what we're finding, more and more often, is that what people "want" when it comes to their buying decisions -- often on a very subconsious level -- is the illusion of control and a sense of group membership. Purchasers -- from children to adults -- want to feel like they're sticking it to "The Man" while living it up "to the extreme," all while fitting into whatever group they believe happens to be "coolest."

Marketers are intensely aware of this. (In fact, this principle -- the illusion of control -- is central to almost all children's advertising, which lives and dies on something called "the Nag Effect," a phenomenon that is quite literally the measurement of a child's ability to wear down a parent against that parent's wishes. Advertisers to children, then, specifically code their marketing to deliberately subvert a parent's desires.)

Many of the things conservatives think of as "liberal" sins -- kids getting older younger, sexual sophistication and/or libertine behavior, vulgar lyrics in music -- are in fact not liberal values or consistent with liberal values at all; they are marketing tools, designed to promote a product or behavior conducive to further marketing. And the reason we think of these as liberal has nothing to do with liberal endorsement of these tools but rather the fact that liberals are less likely to directly challenge these sins.

In the same way, things we think of as "conservative" sins -- violence, shallowness, consumerism, narrow-mindness -- are also certainly not inherent in the conservative mindset; they're sold by the WWE and NASCAR and Marshall Field's.

In both cases, the real sin is not the way issues like sexual freedom and/or violent sport are presented, but rather the way in which they are promoted and commodified to the lowest denominator.

The same thing has started to apply to political affiliation: partisan membership has been turned into a brand, and packaged with its own set of "beliefs" into which someone is required to buy before being fully accepted as part of the appropriate group. And, again, can anyone dispute that this has been a deliberate decision by political parties, who have hired marketers to use their skills on their behalf in exactly this way? The same tools of ostracism, generality, self-interest and power fantasy that sell shampoo and chocolate sell presidents and Social Security reform.

Now, it's certainly the case that this sort of partisanship is made worse by the growing intrusion of the federal government into all areas of American life; it makes it harder and harder for people to form enclaves which are sympathetic to their own way of life, since the federal government by its very nature makes such enclaves impossible. But while there's a good reason, then, for last-ditch adversarial relationships, it seems obvious to me that these relationships are certainly not improved by the continuing decision to turn political parties into brands.

"I'm a Democrat, so I care more about people than you do. And I have to be pro-choice."

"I'm a Republican, so I'm smarter than you are. And I have to think it's okay to own an assault rifle."

But if the enemy is marketing, then, how is it possible to fight this enemy? Legislation can't work; it only increases the size of government even further and limits legitimate speech. (Besides, it's subverted all too often; has anyone noticed the creeping commercialization of PBS, and the way Sesame Street has turned into a corporate shill?) Without a media determined to be independent of its own advertisers, can the public ever become aware of this threat? How can we criticize a movement which, by its very nature, exists to suppress criticism -- and how can we transition from simple criticism to the kind of broad-based commercial (not legislative, again) action necessary to remind marketers of what is after all their civic duty and responsibility to the public?

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lifewish
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Lifewish   Email Lifewish   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fortunately, as always, there is a countercultural movement against blind acceptance of whatever one is told. For an excellent example of this in action, I recommend reading the Why Wiccans Suck website.

...Or at least I would, but I've just noticed that it seems to have died. Have a Wayback Machine link

Posts: 272 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
musket
Member
Member # 552

 - posted      Profile for musket         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd be curious to know just what the "Why Wiccans Suck" site owner has moved on to after dropping out of Wicca. Still, very funny stuff.

How do we fight it? We can't. There ain't no fighting marketing except on an individual level, and the number of people whose self-esteem is based on brand identification will always outnumber those of us who at least try to be aware of having our buttons pushed and resent it.

quote:
By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they'll take root. I don't know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously...

"You know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar, that's a big dollar, a lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research, huge market. He's doing a good thing." Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scumbags, quit putting a godamn dollar sign on every f_cking thing on this planet!

-- Bill Hicks


Posts: 1524 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tom, this is brilliant. I wish you'd start more threads. I'm going to print this and think about it for a while.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Funean
Member
Member # 2345

 - posted      Profile for Funean   Email Funean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
what people "want"...is the illusion of control and a sense of group membership.
I quoted it this way because thanks to your articulation, I've realized that this is absolutely true, and applies to much more than their buying motivations. Another one of our many human paradoxes.

quote:
Many of the things conservatives think of as "liberal" sins -- kids getting older younger, sexual sophistication and/or libertine behavior, vulgar lyrics in music -- are in fact not liberal values or consistent with liberal values at all; they are marketing tools, designed to promote a product or behavior conducive to further marketing. And the reason we think of these as liberal has nothing to do with liberal endorsement of these tools but rather the fact that liberals are less likely to directly challenge these sins.
Wow...that sounds exactly right. And it explains why conservatives think "the liberals" are taking over the culture, while simultaneously liberals think that the neocons/religious right are "winning" the "culture war."

It also helps to explain the conversion of the Republican Party from the party of Eisenhower and Goldwater into the party of Rick Santorum and Pat Buchanan.

quote:
how is it possible to fight this enemy?
Why, with our free media, of course. Hmm, no.

With the brains our schools has trained us to use critically and with discipline? Eh, no.

With the faculties for moral discernment granted us by our religious institutions? Er, evidently not.

Clearly, this is a job for.....The Ornery Party!

/hopeless promotion of TOP

I have thoroughly demonstrated my hapless idealism on these pages, but I do believe that the free exchange of ideas, un-glossified, among individuals of all philososphies on fora like Ornery and on individual blogs represents the best remaining source of non-corporate opinion. Sure, we're all informed by our participation in the marketing culture you describe, but we're not going to be as good at as the professionals. And at least if enough people pick at a problem long enough someone's bound to start noticing such inconsistencies as you describe above, and start to spread the news.

As you have, in fact, done.

Posts: 5277 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The same thing has started to apply to political affiliation: partisan membership has been turned into a brand, and packaged with its own set of "beliefs" into which someone is required to buy before being fully accepted as part of the appropriate group.
...
...how is it possible to fight this enemy?

I am having trouble coming up with much that is not immediately obviously covered by that generalization, even though I think there is much more to explore in your ideas than has come out so far. Perhaps the inherent conflict in being a log cabin republican is worth discussing.

I think "unbeliefs" are also at work here: We do not watch NASCAR, we do not support welfare. Or, as against the log cabin republicans, we do not support any aspect of homosexuality including living openly as a homosexual, even if we ourselves are homosexual.

For them, this isn't rhetoric, and isn't some ideal they can have without the intimacy of facing competing ideas daily.

For them, the brand has the possibility of being more important than the self. I think this is a result that can come from commerical advertising, but usually does not, at least with adults. That may be because what we wear, look like, or own are fairly inconsequential to a health person when compared to what we think, feel, or believe.

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"With the brains our schools has trained us to use critically and with discipline? Eh, no."

You hit the nail on the head, Fun!

It's virtually impossible for schools, which only have limited access to students, to combat the media, which have unprecedented access to students (think now of cell phones that connect to the internet, etc.). Advertising has dumbed down EVERYTHING. Even so-called news shows have, over the last decade, started to emulate commercial media by using soundbytes, graphics, etc., to catch the lazy eye and bypass the critical brain.

Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ability to think critically pulls back the curtain on the Wizard of Marketing.

And I disagree that schools can't play a role in this. I remember my economics teacher explaining that "4 out of 5 dentists" is not the same thing as "4 out of every 5 dentists". Ever since, I've taken all advertisements warily.

I often hear the argument that people can't be held responsible because the marketing is just too powerful. Baloney, says I.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ender wiggin
Member
Member # 9

 - posted      Profile for ender wiggin   Email ender wiggin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I applaud you post Tom.

I agree that politics has been marketed to the extent that people define themselves by thier political affiliation. Thier political beliefs affect every aspect of thier lives. What ever happened to thinking for yourself.

When party allegiances become too strong, independent thought is stifled. I've noticed here on Ornery that conservatives have a lot of trouble even talking to liberals, and vice-versa. We are so busy calling names that we can't find the commonalities.

Why should I let a politcal party tell me what to think. Shouldn't I tell them what to think? Isn't that the point of democracy? I think environmental degredation is the untold crisis of our times. Does this mean that I also have to think that hunting and eating animals is wrong? No.

People keep writing "Orson Scott Card writes such wonderful books, I can't believe he is a conservitave". Well, maybe an author can write a good book even if you don't like his politics. Maybe art transends party allegiance.

We are more than our religious beliefs or political affiliations. Marketing has tried to convince us otherwise by 'branding' parties and belief systems. We can't let them win, there is too much at stake.

Posts: 971 | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Digger
Member
Member # 2341

 - posted      Profile for Digger   Email Digger   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"And I disagree that schools can't play a role in this."

We actually had a segment on Critical Thinking when I was in about 6th or 7th grade. We learned theory from a textbook and then used common advertisements to illustrate that what we were learning applied in the real world. I've always wondered why this approach never caught on.

I don't think I sent away for any more Sea Monkeys or X-Ray glasses after that. A part of my childhood died hard, but it was a good death. [Smile]

Posts: 1317 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
The ability to think critically pulls back the curtain on the Wizard of Marketing.

And I disagree that schools can't play a role in this. I remember my economics teacher explaining that "4 out of 5 dentists" is not the same thing as "4 out of every 5 dentists". Ever since, I've taken all advertisements warily.

I often hear the argument that people can't be held responsible because the marketing is just too powerful. Baloney, says I.

I didn't say that schools can't play a role. I said that their power was limited, compared to that of the ubiquitous media. Deep learning takes quite a bit of repetition. Where are we exposed to the most repetition? Add to that the fact that critical thinking requires more effort and time than immediate reaction, and you get a public that tends not to be too judgmental about what it hears and sees.
Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
People can and should be held responsible. That might make them pay a bit more attention. As it is, a scary large number is willing to take it all at face value.
Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ambivalence of the phrase "This little piggy went to market" should be taught to all little piggies.
Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why else did the wolf think he could show up and blow them away?! [Smile]
Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I totally agree that a large number of people will always take the easy way out, politically or commercially. There is nothing new about branding in politics. How many people still vote a straight ticket, even those that should know better? Even those that would never buy all their goods from one department store?

People are lazy when it comes to politics. I spent the better part of a weekend figuring out how I was going to vote on about a dozen ballot questions. Then my vote gets cancelled by someone whose reasoning goes something like this:

Stem cells, those are the things George Bush hates because he's a religious zealot, right? Mark that a yes.

Since most people aren't going to invest that kind of time, you have a two-tier system. Activists, who get to know the candidates and issues; Voters, whom the activists lure to one side or the other with a clever slogan like "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time".

(just one example, nobody get your intestines in a knot because I picked Kerry.)

I don't think there is a "solution". Most people are not going to be willing to give up the time necessary to examine an issue in depth, let alone all their choices on the ballot.

Education can help those who are receptive to the idea of thinking critically. The others will remain the zombie-thralls of Madison Avenue.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Funean
Member
Member # 2345

 - posted      Profile for Funean   Email Funean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Even activists tend to use their issue as a litmus test. Pro-life voters will vote for the pro-life candidate, whether or not they agree with any other part of his platform; environmentalists will vote for the green or anti-industry candidate, regardless of whether, say, he's corrupt; and so on.

I've known activists in several different areas (both con and lib) who prided themselves on not bothering to learn about or develop an opinion on the candidate's other positions--sort of a "my cause trumps all other matters" willful blinkered state.

What to do with people who have been suckered into believing that thinking is the mark of the under-committed? [Frown]

Posts: 5277 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
People keep writing "Orson Scott Card writes such wonderful books, I can't believe he is a conservitave".
What spin!
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"We actually had a segment on Critical Thinking when I was in about 6th or 7th grade. We learned theory from a textbook and then used common advertisements to illustrate that what we were learning applied in the real world. I've always wondered why this approach never caught on."

This unit is more common then you might think. It just needs to happen about twice or three times during school. ALSO, more and more teachers try to bring advertising into the classroom on a subtle basis. I observed a teacher this year, when doing a lesson on how all food energy originally comes from the sun, show that the labeling information on food is sneaky so that you think you are eating less then you are.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's a lot in this post I still need to digest, and not sure I have a response for all of it. But here's a portion that I have a response for now.

Truth be told, I can't off hand think of any commercial advertising other than ads for movies, or public service announcements that don't come off as insulting or degrading to some small way. Still, I think it's an evil that we can't really get rid of, since commercials funds most of broadcast TV, and fiscal conservatives are fighting to shut down PBS and NPR [Frown]

I do think that we should fight to get commercial speech un-protected. I don't think Freedom of speech was intended to protect commercial ads. Already ads for attorneys, real estate agents, and other professional services can suffer fairly strict legal limitations. I think that rational basis review should be sufficient for protecting commercial "speech."

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Many of the things conservatives think of as "liberal" sins -- kids getting older younger, sexual sophistication and/or libertine behavior, vulgar lyrics in music -- are in fact not liberal values or consistent with liberal values at all; they are marketing tools, designed to promote a product or behavior conducive to further marketing. And the reason we think of these as liberal has nothing to do with liberal endorsement of these tools but rather the fact that liberals are less likely to directly challenge these sins.

Well, assuming that what you mean by liberal is what I mean by culturally leftist (as opposed to a liberal who cares about the poor, noting of course that a person may be culturally leftist And liberal at the same time, or one or another or both) ...

I think that the reason that cultural leftism is associated with those "sins," isn't because Cultural leftists are less likely to challenge pimps that promote the "sins," but rather because the cultural left tends to oppose and demonize those who do challenge the pimps.

Example 1:
Pimp pisses on cross for NEA money.
Conservative @ NEA that's my tax money, you twits, and I don't want it being used to attack Jesus.
Cultural Leftist #1: That's ART, you evil book-burning pig!
Cultural Leftist #2: Freedom of speech! Freedom of the press! Aaahgh!


Example 2:
Pimp shoves pictures of ads for various whores for rent into Pete's face.
Pete: Seeing that stuff degrades me. I should have a right not to see it.
Cultural leftist 1: Something must be wrong with you. How could seeing a beautiful woman degrade you?
Cultural leftist 2: Freedom of speech! Freedom of the press! Aaahgh!
Cultural leftist 3: You are just trying to impose your religion.


Example 3:
Steven Spielberg: You could not possibly comprehend the horror of the holocaust without a clear visual representation of what the Camp Commander's polish mistress's tits look like in black and white. I'll make exceptions for screenings on airplanes and for TV broadcasts, but I definitely won't allow Religious groups to show the Schindler's List without those tits, or else millions of holocaust victims would cry out from the dust.
Clevery Utah techie: Here's a card you can put into a custom DVD player so that you can play any major movie, tailored to the viewing level that you want.
Cultural Leftist #1: That's ART, you evil book-burning pig! Intellectual Property!
Cultural Leftist #2: Freedom of speech! Freedom of the press! Aaahgh!
Cultural leftist #3: AAUGH Conservative vandal! Holocaust denying neonazi!


It boggles the mind to hear the word "Art" used to describe photos of someone pissing on a cross, the complete works of Monsieus Hefner and Flynt, or Christian religious icons remade out of feces. And most cultural leftists only enter conversations with us when they are popping up to tell us that we should not pray in public, or carrying an undressing stripper into our church during our meetings, or protecting commercialized sex, or questioning the emotional stability of people that don't like to see sex commercialized in our faces, or telling us that we aren't allowed to watch anic in our own homes. [Cool]

It's hard not to associate CLs with that which they defend. If that's a mistake, then it's a reasonable mistake to make. If there's more to CLs than this, if CLs have have anything at all in common with the rest of us, then maybe they should show it more often. [Frown]


Oh, and 3 points to the person who first correctly guesses & posts what "anic" is [Big Grin]

[ May 30, 2005, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"American Nazis In Charge"?
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"It's hard not to associate CLs with that which they defend. If that's a mistake, then it's a reasonable mistake to make. If there's more to CLs than this, if CLs have have anything at all in common with the rest of us, then maybe they should show it more often. "

I think the mistake is in the label "cultural leftist."

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Zyne: hint: anic played last night on broadcast TV, which is the only place that one is legally allowed to watch it. Illegal to buy a videotape of anic.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pete-
Instead of ignoring my post because its a "one line cryptic comment" why don't you think about it for a while? Part of the reason I do the one line cryptic comments (of this sort) is that I don't like doing other people's thinking for them. You're making a mistake of thinking that can be cleared up if you spend 5-10 minutes pondering my statement in relation to your post. If you do that, not only will you understand what I'm thinking better then if I type it, you are also more likely to change the way you think, without having other assumptions or beliefs challenged, and thus will be more receptive to changing your mind on the case in point.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In both cases, the real sin is not the way issues like sexual freedom and/or violent sport are presented, but rather the way in which they are promoted and commodified to the lowest denominator.
How do you separate how they are "presented" from the way that they are "promoted and commodified?" Presentation and promotion are part of the same ugly little commercial package, neh?
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Pete: I am mostly stumped. My best guess is some sports thing; else, some news thing.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You need good credit to play the Socratic card, Ev. [Frown] I'm afraid that your account at the Bank of Pete is overdrawn.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't do sports, and it's not news either, Zyne. It's about 99% of a movie.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ender wiggin:
I applaud you post Tom.

I agree that politics has been marketed to the extent that people define themselves by thier political affiliation. Thier political beliefs affect every aspect of thier lives. What ever happened to thinking for yourself.

When party allegiances become too strong, independent thought is stifled. I've noticed here on Ornery that conservatives have a lot of trouble even talking to liberals, and vice-versa. We are so busy calling names that we can't find the commonalities.

Why should I let a politcal party tell me what to think. Shouldn't I tell them what to think? Isn't that the point of democracy? I think environmental degredation is the untold crisis of our times. Does this mean that I also have to think that hunting and eating animals is wrong? No.

People keep writing "Orson Scott Card writes such wonderful books, I can't believe he is a conservitave". Well, maybe an author can write a good book even if you don't like his politics. Maybe art transends party allegiance.

We are more than our religious beliefs or political affiliations. Marketing has tried to convince us otherwise by 'branding' parties and belief systems. We can't let them win, there is too much at stake.

One good thing about Ornery is that we've finally shrugged off the sillies who were screaming non-stop about Card not being a good enough Democrat. "how dare he call himself a Democrat and think such and such?!" And they they'd start yelling L-words.

It was like gang colors. You can't wear the red unless you're a Blood! You can't wear the blue unless you're a Crip. Just because you affiliate with one party for one set of reasons doesn't mean you can't affiliate with another party for another set of reasons. That's why I separate cultural leftist v. cultural conservative, political liberal v. political right, and internationalist v. nationalist.

And even three axes doesn't cover everything.

[ May 30, 2005, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'm sorry I'm overdrawn. That doesn't mean my statement is wrong, and that you wouldn't benefit a lot if you looked at your post taking my statement into account. *shrug* Just don't pull your usual stunt of saying "no one challenged my assertion of such and such."
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No one challenged my assertion. 12(b)(6) and check mate. [Razz]
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, I did [Smile] I challenged your whole assertion of some unified cultural left... I'm even challenging that such a group exists.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Failure to state a claim that can be understood, more likely.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My first reaction to this particular digression was that it wasn't related to any part of my original post. [Smile] But my second reaction is that Pete's examples are an excellent example of why a small government is the only logical choice.


Pimp pisses on cross for NEA money.

In this situation, we have chosen to give federal grants to artists. The artists in question are identified and chosen by people hired by the federal government, presumably art experts. Some of these artists may produce work that is either controversial and/or not of obvious merit, from the perspective of individual taxpayers. Why, these taxpayers ask, should their tax money go to art that they do not believe should be produced at all? The socialist defense, all hyperbole aside, is that art is a necessary human endeavor and should be supported by the public without requiring individual patronage; it provides a cultural service that exceeds its marginal cost, even if individual specific artworks may not fulfill this function for each individual. This is of little consolation to such individuals, naturally. The obvious response is that art has not been shown to be an endeavor that requires federal subsidy; therefore, the NEA should not have access to tax monies and should -- if it exists at all -- rely solely on voluntary donations.

Pimp shoves pictures of whores in someone's face
The sensible response here is "oh, you don't approve of prostitution? Don't rent prostitutes. And talk your friends out of buying prostitutes. If you don't like seeing Mentos commercials, don't buy Mentos." It is difficult to make a compelling argument for the idea that merely being "forced" to view an ad for a prostitute is harm sufficient to require legal action from a government that has chosen to otherwise permit prostitution. Of course, this assumes that marketing cannot cause inherent harm in and of itself; I'm not at all sure this is the case. It is possible that repeated exposure to marketing could wear down even the most determined person -- in fact, advertisers count on this -- but if we're going to behave as if this were the case, we may have to start looking at marketing in general much more critically.

Individual skips past scenes in a film -- automatically -- that he believes he would find objectionable, if he were to see them.
The obvious argument for the "wrongness" of this practice is that it somehow violates the integrity of the artwork -- and were the film being distributed with these edits, or were this a painting with its nude bits blacked out with marker, that would be a good argument; certainly the artist is violated in such a situation. But a chip of this sort, while doubtlessly "prudish" and arguably regrettable, is no more a violation of the original work than, say, covering one's eyes. If I throw up a hand during a scary scene in Nightmare on Elm Street and peek through my fingers to see, say, only a single tree branch for a few seconds, have I injured the artist or cheapened his work simply because I wasn't mature enough to handle what he produced? Of course not. Artists may find this insulting -- and, yeah, it may be insulting. It may even, in some cases, fundamentally change the message of their art. But since their art is not itself being altered and is available in its original form to anyone, it's not the artist but rather the viewer who is suffering any "loss." Copyright doesn't sensibly apply, and the government doesn't need to intervene to protect viewers from their own inadequacies.

[ May 30, 2005, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Pimp shoves pictures of whores in someone's face
The sensible response here is "oh, you don't approve of prostitution? Don't rent prostitutes. And talk your friends out of buying prostitutes. If you don't like seeing Mentos commercials, don't buy Mentos." It is difficult to make a compelling argument for the idea that merely being "forced" to view an ad for a prostitute is harm sufficient to require legal action from a government that has chosen to otherwise permit prostitution. Of course, this assumes that marketing cannot cause inherent harm in and of itself; I'm not at all sure this is the case. It is possible that repeated exposure to marketing could wear down even the most determined person -- in fact, advertisers count on this -- but if we're going to behave as if this were the case, we may have to start looking at marketing in general much more critically.

I don't think it's a sensible response to compare the marketing of sex to the marketing of Mentos. I agree that we should look at marketing in general more critically, and I've propsed above that we remove all special speech protection for ANY kind of advertising, giving it no more than rational review (which is what age discrimination gets).

I trust that I misunderstood you and that you did not actually mean to morally equate sale of mentos to pimping, because that's what I call the classic definition of cultural nihilism. It seems misanthropic to equate, say, getting your hair cut, with sex. To be sure, my wife cuts my hair so well I'd never trust anyone else to do it, but if I did, it wouldn't be any kind of betrayal. It woudn't risk third parties coming into being in a dismal situation. It wouldn't risk spread of disease, and it wouldn't put money into an industry that derives a good part of its existence from rape and slavery.

Sex is part of the mystery of our creation, and associated with our closest relationships. We're one of only two land-based species on the planet that is capable of making love face to face.

There are problems with commercialization in general, but the broadly commercialized sex is nihilism and misanthropy run rampant.

If we're going to attack commercialization, I think sexual commercialization is the ideal place to start. Both the sale of sex and the use of sex to sell.

Naked female skin grabs the eye. Most men at least are programmed to be slaves to this. I don't think that it's any coincidence that the area around the Las Vegas strip has the worst auto insurance rating in the USA. Huge posters, moving posters, newspaper stands with big color pictures staring from the street. Take your eyes off the road for half a second, and someone could be dead. My 7 year old just saw his first dead body lying in the road last Wednesday. [Frown] I don't know if the driver that hit her was looking at the whore pictures on that side of the street, but I know that those big photos posted in the news stands 15 feet from her prostrate body have grabbed my eyes for half a second now and then. [Frown]

I don't think it would be as hard to look away from a mentos picture.

Glad we agree more on #1 and #3, though.

[ May 30, 2005, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"It seems misanthropic to equate, say, getting your hair cut, with sex."

It seems misanthropic in your opinion to do so, Pete. I don't see why we should reflect this in our legislation.

While sex may well be a vital and sacred mystery to you, I don't see a compelling argument that would permit you to force everyone else to share your opinion on that matter. That men in particular are biologically conditioned to find visual depictions of sex more compelling than hard candy is a valid observation, but I'm afraid that this kind of thinking -- that men cannot be trusted to control themselves -- is exactly the line of reasoning that leads to burkas and bans on rap music.

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Commenting on my suggestions that large sexually explicit racy signs be removed from roadways to prevent deaths, Tom said:

quote:
I'm afraid that this kind of thinking -- that men cannot be trusted to control themselves -- is exactly the line of reasoning that leads to burkas and bans on rap music.
I think that's precisely the kind of slippery slope argument that leads ivory tower philosophers to prematurely conclude that there is no such thing as a slippery slope.

Burkas and rap music usually do not involve commercialized speech. I suppose that it's possible that some community might pass a law that everyone in a commercial must wear a burka and that rap is forbidden as part of the commercial, and that would be silly and perhaps irrational, but by no means worse than the current situation of unrestrained commercialism.

A rational society expects men to restrain their behaviors. But a rational society doesn't expect normal men to not look away for a fraction of a second when they see a color airbrushed whore photo that has been designed to trigger a biological response. The law distinguishes automatism from a conscious act, even if you cannot make that distinction.

So do you actually morally equate the sale and advertising of mentos to the sale and advertising of commercial sex?

Tom, I don't think of a single any enduring culture in history that treated the sale of sex no differently than the sale of product or service, or treated sex as indifferently as you do here:

quote:
It seems misanthropic in your opinion to do so [equate a haircut with sex], Pete. I don't see why we should reflect this in our legislation.
I don't think it's just me, Tom. In fact, I don't even think that most cultural leftists would agree with such an extreme denial of the uniqueness of the sex act. Sex and death make up more of our poetry and literature than any other subjects, Tom. Do you think that's pure coincidence?

If you think that marketing sex is not a particular evil (no worse, you seem to say, than marketing a haircut), then how would you feel about someone using death as a marketing device? That's the last frontier on broadcast TV. Capture pictures of people's last moments alive, pleading for their lives, to broadcast a political message? Set aside the question of the person actually getting hurt. Say it's an actor, who has a fatal disease, and his family's getting paid to for his death to be captured on film, and it would be less painful to go by beheading than slowly and painfully.

Are we still with Menthos and sex?

I'm curious why you started an ad on the harms of commercialization, and yet seem to argue that one commercial is no worse than another. What's the harm, say, in showing clips from a movie to encourage folks to watch it? A typical movie preview?

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For what it's worth, I don't find the sex act unique at all. I've had lots of casual sex, Pete. I've slept with dozens of women -- some of whom I loved, some of whom I didn't. I enjoy porn. And yet I adore and respect my wife, treasure my child, and don't feel like any of the pure entertainment value I derive from stimulating my gonads cheapens my relationships with them.

I think sex and death make up a lot of our literature precisely because they're among those biological drives of ours which most lend themselves to intriguing conflict. [Smile] I'd like to see what Shakespeare could have done with one man's quest for an all-you-can-eat buffet, but the simple fact is that it isn't likely to be as fascinating -- if only because the food itself has no opinion on the matter.

------

"I'm curious why you started an ad on the harms of commercialization, and yet seem to argue that one commercial is no worse than another."

That's actually an interesting distinction, isn't it? This thread clearly isn't an advertisement, insofar as no commercial message is contained; it's political speech. But how can one draw a sensible line, especially now that politicians are actually hiring marketers to market themselves?

You suggest that legal restrictions on commercial speech would be the appropriate response to the issues raised in this thread. But how then do we distinguish commercial speech from protected speech in any sensible way? Keep in mind that we already attempt to do this, and certainly this has not prevented marketers from commodifying public discourse.

[ May 31, 2005, 01:02 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Politicians figured that usurping the unused portions of our cognition -- those long deserts punctuated by the oases of our sahort attention span -- shouldn't be left solely to makers of shampoo and cigarettes?

But of course.

The question is, when, if ever, will the polis figure this out. Or will they insist on continuing as demos and insist on there being a separate class -- the polis -- to do their political thinking for them?

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Analogy: allowing torture against terrorists will eventually result in torture to Americans. Why? Because once we develop specialists in torture, the knowledge is out there, and it works, therefore it will be used. Additionally, hearing about torture and not making that much of a big deal about it (since they are terrorists, and don't we see on 24 how torture is sometimes just necessary?), the public comes to tolerate its use.

Allowing unlimited corrupting commercials has created a whole industry of specialists in manipulation, a race to the bottom. Additionally, the public has lost its sense of outrage at being shamelessly manipulated. It's only in this environment where political campaigns can 1) get state of the art manipulative tactics from trained specialists, and 2) get away with manipulating a public that has become tolerant of shameless invasive commercial tactics.

Directly limiting political speech is unacceptable to any real American. (That doesn't mean we can't tax it, though). But we can indirectly, over time, alter how political campaigns are run, by suppressing the most manipulative commercial advertising.

In the medium term, this would allow people's minds to heal so they become less tolerant to advertising that leaps from the TV and dry-humps our leg. This means that the most obnoxious and manipulative campaign advertising also becomes ineffective.

And in the long term, it would break the backbone of Madison Avenue specialists. After a generation, few would even remember how to do the garbage they do today. Political advertising is too much of a seasonal niche market to justify dedicating your life to advertising specialty. Spin will always be with us, but the worst of the campaign stuff will be gone.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1