What is often missing in modern culture is this depth of connection. When you see a culture dividing into simplistic polarities — which is all of our politics nowadays and most of our religion — what’s going on is a loss of soul. People who are in touch with their soul know what they’re supposed to be doing in the world and what their way of contributing to life is, in the same way that people know what music they love and what food they enjoy — not just life-sustaining food, but food that has flavor, that makes you feel nourished, even inspired.
The U.S. has become mired in spiritual materialism. People are substituting material accomplishments or possessions for the thing the soul loves, such as music and meaningful speech. The soul even loves suffering when the suffering produces realization. In a mass effort to find superficial comforts and avoid suffering, the whole culture has lost soul.
Everyone needs some help learning who they already are. That’s the root of genuine education and the task of real culture.
(from an article in the Sun Mag which I have read and reread many times this week.)
-media used to be the only thing that was commodified (magazines, newspapers, television, radio), by commodified I mean that advertising began to influence the content. Now with the advent of blog advertising (and we could also add social media) it is our very lifestyles that have become commodified. Our lives are now advertisements. Everything is for sale. The clothes we are wearing, our children’s clothing, their toys, the cream we use, our shoes.
-As with traditional media, and now with the prevalence of blog ads at some point the content exists merely to feed the advertising (no longer does the advertising support the content). Loss of honesty/integrity results.
-our relationships with people should not be connected to or influenced by consumerism.
-it used to be that culture was created by the artists. They held strong beliefs, had very strong political ideas, integrity was everything.
-now the lines between entertainment and advertising are becoming more blurred/non-existent. Advertising is entertainment. Thus advertising is culture. So culture is now formed by corporations who have no interest in the greater good of society or the planet and are self-serving and profit driven.
-what are the implications of growing up in a culture where everything is a commodity? what are we teaching our children to value?
-what is most surprising is the apparent acceptance of advertising and product endorsement as just part of the culture, especially in places where it was formerly taboo (i.e. Mothering Magazine). What has happened to the cultural consciousness that makes this okay? So-and-so is doing it so it is okay for me to do it too?
Culture is not about what we buy, or what our friends are buying.
What we really need…
What we are craving is true connection with ourselves and the people in our lives. That means deep and messy interactions. The internet makes everything tidy and keeps relationships at arms reach.
is to place value on things that actually benefit society (social welfare, health, soul, art). take the power away from corporations.
I am thinking about these things as I prepare to do another interview on the advertising and culture (re: web and social media).