Today, I finished reading Kalle Lasn book titled Culture Jam (founder adbusters.org); it is a very well written and thought provoking book, but what makes it special is, its’ ability to stimulate action. As far as I am concerned this book has convinced me that the pervasive consumer culture and the obsession with virtual reality (movies, videogames, internet), which is the dominant way of life in the US and increasingly in Pakistan also, is making us sick.
We often loose sight of the important things in life, and for many of us things have always been this way, he reminds us that things were not like this .. and how ‘back then’ was really better.
For anyone who feels a growing unease, a sense of loss and depression, but cannot figure out the cause, I would recommend this book.
By retelling the small victories he has had against this consumer culture, he has given me hope – we can, if not kill, kick the beast between his legs and bring him to his knees and then hope others will pounce on him. This, as his success proves, is possible; fortunately, this is more true for a place like Pakistan, where this virus has not reached epidemic proportions, and the chaotic cultural scene promises numerous possibilities.
From my own experience, the least we can do is talk to other people and at least make them aware of the meaninglessness of such a life.
Some quotes from his book:
- “Our mental environment is a common-property resource like the air or the water. We need to protect ourselves from unwanted incursions into it, much the same way we lobbied for non-smoking areas ten years ago.”
- “The aggregate level of American life fulfillment peaked in 1957, and with a couple of brief exceptions, it’s been downhill from there.”
- “All of us somehow felt that the next battleground was going to be culture. We all felt somehow that our culture had been stolen from us – by commercial forces, by advertising agencies, by TV broadcasters. It felt like we were no longer singing our songs and telling stories, and generating our culture from the bottom up, but now we were somehow being spoon-fed this commercial culture [from the] top down.”
A very good interview … highly recommended!
A five minute interview on the success of the “buy nothing day” campaign: