My wife and I like to shop at the $5 and $10 movie bin at Wal Mart. Recently, she bought a season of the old school Mission: Impossible TV show. We noticed some things from our Sixties time warp:
- Only people displaying a particular style were allowed on TV. All men were clean shaved (except baddies) and wore short hair with a part. They wore suits in public, and sweaters in private. Women always wore high heels and evening gowns.
- Children are not seen.
- People from the sixties drank like fish and smoked like chimneys.
I'd like to talk about point no. 1:
Back in the 90’s where I’m from, I remember high school being one tsunami of style or culture after another. The Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie phases were particularly dominant. Then there was the baggie jeaned skateboarder look, the baggie jeaned NWA look and so forth.
Most of this came from MTV. Everyone watched it, and it created a collective consumer consciousness that drove teenagers insane with style greed.
What are my kids watching?
My son likes to watch a British Minecraft Youtuber build virtual stuff. He also likes the Crazy Russian Hacker, a Russian-Oregonian Youtuber who does science experiments and other cool things in his basement.
My wife likes Facebook.
My daughter likes Youtube.
I like Seattle Sports Insider.
We don’t have cable. We don’t subscribe to a newspaper. We don’t subscribe to any magazines. The only entertainment we will spring for are blockbuster movies, books, or video games. We are the new normal. Everyone I know is doing the same thing. Televised sports are the only thing that people watch on live TV. As a result, commercials have zero influence on American culture. TV is dead. It was killed off sometime in the last five years but its death started with TiVo.
With no TV to tell people what is cool, style has become a hodgepodge that hasn’t been seen since the Wild West. You are just as likely to see a kid wearing a tucked in plaid shirt as you are to see a kid wear his pajamas into a store. My kids have no brand loyalty to Nike, Reebok or Sketchers. My kids don't see any style of dress as uncool. Would it surprise any of you to see someone walking down the street in a gladiator suit?
This is not the world I grew up in.
Then posters LR and Rick have a discussion that turned this lightbulb on for me:
If Bernie or Cruz or whoever uses a free public medium to communicate his/her ideas, and it RESONATES with people on such a large scale, then that candidate has in effect spoken directly to the people. Democracy. - See more at: http://baseball.seattlesportsinsider.com/blogs/kk/konspiracy-korner-feel...
Billionaires created a system that allows a guy with a Honda Civic hybrid, smartphone, and HDTV to run rings around them in financing a campaign. For free. He doesn't have to spend a dime on advertising. So..that makes who corrupt? Nobody is corrupt, and rich billionaires are not "rigging campaigns". They are forced to sit back and watch an old socialist use their infrastruct to fund his campaign. Free advertising that beats paid advertising, and even beats public financing without facebook.
Bernie posts a meme and instantly the whole world gets it, and moves it along. How is that inferior to TV advertising, which expensive, and can't be passed along?
- See more at: http://baseball.seattlesportsinsider.com/blogs/kk/konspiracy-korner-feel...
They were arguing about something else, but their consensus was the interesting point.
The loss of elite media has created effects that go way beyond clothing and toys. While this is worrisome, as it provides a way for a lowbrow WWE type candidate, like Donald Trump, to flourish, there is something great here as well. The Vanderbilts, and the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons are out. If advertising is free, and has minimal effect when it is not, then money cannot buy the American vote. I don’t want to live in Sweden or Idiocracy*, but it feels like an old cancer has been removed from the United States.
The future has been somewhat disappointing, as I was promised easy living and a hoverboard, and I got student loans, a dryer that argues with me about the lint screen and computers so small they are in constant danger of being run through the wash. But this, seeing a generation that isn’t brainwashed by commercials, this I can sink my teeth into. TV is dead. Feel the Bern.
*Idiocracy is a vulgar dystopian future movie by Mike Judge where everyone is stupid, and the president is a pro wrestler who shoots an FAL over the heads of Congress when they get out of line. I think Donald Trump’s potential presidency might be kind of like that.