slide1 n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 40

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 252 Views
  • Uploaded on

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption. Survey of Popular Culture. Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption. Chapter 1 Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption Laurence Shames , The More Factor PAIRED READINGS: UNDERSTANDING SHOPPING

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption' - gay


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide2

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Chapter 1

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Laurence Shames, The More Factor

PAIRED READINGS: UNDERSTANDING SHOPPING

Malcolm Gladwell, The Science of Shopping

Anne Norton, The Signs of Shopping

Mark Dery, Dawn of the Dead Mall

Credit Card Barbie [PHOTOGRAPH]

Thomas Hine, What’s in a Package

Joan Kron, The Semiotics of Home Decor

Andrea Chang, Teen “Haulers” Become a Fashion Force

S. Craig Watkins, Fast Entertainment and Multitasking in an Always-On World

John Verdant, The Ables vs. The Binges

Tammy Oler, Making Geek Chic

Thomas Frank, Commodify Your Dissent

Survey of Popular Culture

slide3

For what underlay our clearing of the continent were the ancient fears and divisions that we brought to the New World along with the primitive precursors of the technology that would assist in transforming the continent. Haunted by these fears, driven by our divisions, we slashed and hacked at the wilderness we saw so that within three centuries of Cortes's penetration of the mainland a world millions of years in the making vanished into the voracious, insatiable maw of an alien civilization. Musing on this time scale, one begins to sense the enormity of what we brought to our entrance here. And one begins to sense also that it was here in America that Western man became loosed into a strange, ungovernable freedom so that what we now live amidst is the culminating artifact of the civilization of the West.

--Frederick Turner, Beyond Geography

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide5

When we pick up our newspaper at breakfast, we expect--we even demand--that it bring us momentous events since the night before. We turn on our car radio as we drive to work and expect "news" to have occurred since the morning paper went to press. Returning in the evening, we expect our house not only to shelter us, to keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but to relax us, to dignify us, to encompass us with soft music and interesting hobbies, to be a playground, a theater, and a bar. We expect our two week vacation to be romantic, exotic, cheap, and effortless. We expect a faraway atmosphere if we go to a nearby place; and we expect everything to be relaxing, sanitary, and Americanized if we go to a faraway place. We expect new heroes every month, a new literary masterpiece every week, a rare sensation every night. . . .

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide6

We expect everything and anything. We expect the contradictory and the impossible. We expect compact cars which are spacious; luxurious cars which are economical. . . . We expect to eat and stay thin, to be constantly on the move and ever more neighborly . . . to revere God and to be God.

Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never has a people been more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could possibly offer. (3-4; my emphasis)

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide7

To furnish a barren room is one thing. To continue to crowd in furniture until the foundation buckles is quite another. To have failed to solve the problem of producing goods would have been to continue man in his oldest and most grievous misfortune. But to fail to see that we have solved it, and to fail to proceed to the next task, would be fully as tragic.

--John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide8

Americans continually find themselves in the position of having killed someone to avoid sharing a meal which turns out to be too large to eat alone.

--Philip Slater, Earthwalk

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide9

America is striving to win power over the sum total of things, complete and absolute mastery of nature in all its aspects. . . . To occupy God's place, to repeat his deeds, to recreate and organize a man-made cosmos according to man-made laws of reason, foresight and efficiency: that is America's ultimate objective. . . . It destroys whatever is primitive, whatever grows in disordered profusion or evolved through patient mutation.

--Robert Jungk, Tomorrow is Already Here

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide10

The commonly accepted notion that Americans are materialists is pure bunk. A materialist is one who loves material, a person devoted to the enjoyment of the physical and immediate present. By this definition, most Americans are abstractionists. They hate material, and convert it as swiftly as possible into mountains of junk and clouds of poisonous gas. As a people, our ideal is to have a future, and so long as this is true we shall never have a present.

--Alan Watts, Does It Matter?

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide11

In a Cathy comic strip—Cathy Guisewite's ruthlessly perceptive daily chronicle of modern spaciness—Cathy and her boyfriend Irving introduce us, in a Sunday comic show-and-tell, to all the new material possessions in their repertoire, all of which are "state of the art“ and none of which is ever used:

  • an "anodized aluminum multi-lens three-beam mini excavation spotlight that live its life in the junk drawer with dead batteries"; a "high-tech, epoxy-finished, heavy-gaugesteel grid hanging unit for home repair tools that required twocarpenters to install and is now used as a scarf rack“
  • “safari clothes that will never be near a jungle";
  • "aerobic footgear that will never set foot in an aerobics class";
  • a "deep-sea dive watch that will never get damp";
  • "architectural magazines we don't read filled with pictures of furniture we don't like";

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide12

"financial strategy software keyed to a checkbook that's lost somewhere under a computer no one knows how to work";

  • an "art poster from an exhibit we never went to of an artist we never heard of.“
  • Guisewite brilliantly labels this post Me Decade conspicuous consumption, "abstract materialism": materialism about as "realistic" or representational as a Jackson Pollock canvas. "We've moved past the things we want and need and are buying those things that have nothing to do with our lives," Cathy herself tells us in the cartoon's final frame. In the 1980s, the age of the yuppie, we perfected the art of what Time magazine has called "transcendental acquisition."

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide15

Laurence Shames, The More Factor

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide16

UNDERSTANDING SHOPPING

Malcolm Gladwell, The Science of Shopping

Anne Norton, The Signs of Shopping

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide18

Mark Dery, Dawn of the Dead Mall

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide19

For here is the mall. . . . Every facet of its operation, including the air that everyone breathes, is controlled, as if outside its walls there were only a fatal eternity. It could be anywhere, or nowhere; it could even be moving about. If you stand in the right place . . . the vibrations of people walking and the low hum of the mall's comfort control machinery can offer the illusion of movement, through the air, or through . . . space.

The fantasy is explicit in the video arcade, but out here it is still curiously valid: a limited cybernetic excitement, in a safe, enclosed structure with room to walk around in. . . . Give it a warp drive and a five-year mission and you've got this . . . starship.—William Kowinski, The Malling of America

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide22

Thomas Hine, What’s in a Package

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide23

Joan Kron, The Semiotics of Home Decor

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide24

Andrea Chang, Teen “Haulers” Become a Fashion Force

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide25

S. Craig Watkins, Fast Entertainment and Multitasking in an Always-On World

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide26

John Verdant, The Ables vs. The Binges

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide27

Tammy Oler, Making Geek Chic

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide28

Thomas Frank, Commodify Your Dissent

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide30

Survey of Popular Culture

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

slide31

Survey of Popular Culture

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

slide32

Survey of Popular Culture

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

slide33

Graceland

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide34

Baby Boomer

Yuppie

Slacker

Goth

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide35

The whole modern age has been, as Norbert Wiener observes in The Human Use of Human Beings (64-65), one prolonged Mad Tea Party on a planetary scale. Since the discovery of the New World and the concomitant obliteration of the limited, pre­Renaissance closed universe, humankind has behaved as if we could always "move down" to the next available open space at the world's table after exhausting all the natural resources at its previous location. "When Alice inquired what would happen when they came around to their original positions again," Wiener notes, "the March hare changed the subject."

Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption

Survey of Popular Culture

slide36

At different times in our history, different cities have been the focal point of a radiating American spirit. In the late eighteenth century, for example, Boston was the center of a political radicalism that ignited a shot heard round the world a shot that could not have been fired any other place but the suburbs of Boston. . . . In the mid-nineteenth century, New York became the symbol of the idea of a melting-pot America or at least a non-English one as the wretched refuse from all over the world disembarked at Ellis Island and spread over the land their strange languages and even stranger ways. In the early twentieth century, Chicago, the city of big shoulders and heavy winds, came to symbolize the industrial energy and dynamism of America. . . .

Today, we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot-high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business