Culture Jamming: Fighting Fire with Fire

Essay by melanie2345University, Master'sA+, August 2004

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In a world where everything is for sale, money is the undisputed ruler of many people's lives. In my Management Principles class, one of the final points my professor left with me is that corporations exist to make money. Around us we can see that lifelong employees can be "downsized" in the flash of a monetary profit. Thanks to Henry Ford and the assembly line, the machine rules and the worker is an object from which profit is to be wrung, where people are alienated from themselves, their co-workers and from hope. Money, poverty, and abuse go hand in hand and are quite common these days. Today, the only measure of value is how much profit something yields. According to the writer, Walter Mosely, "The energy we devote to profit-making kills the joy and creativity in our lives, and pits us against each other in an endless war of competition for seemingly scarce material rewards.

Everywhere we look, something is advertised for sale. Songs on the radio are brought to you by Sunsilk, "para sa buhok na maganda and pagbabago." Television programs are funded by McDonald's, urging the viewers "kita-kits sa McDo." Even news programs are sponsored by Nescafe, "masarap na simula." The boundaries between "programming" and "commercials" are blurred. On TV, on the radio, while riding the bus, even while sitting in the stalls of public toilets, a relentless bombardment of advertisements with self-assured voices, Colgate-perfect smiles, and Extraderm-white skin follow us.

Repetition alone worked in the old days of limited media. When the sources of information were new and uniform, when there were a few networks and one message. Today's consumers are not only more sophisticated - merely making them remember is not good enough - consumers are the battleground for information wars, with messages flying at...