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I have lamented on the way todays generation is so controlled by commercialsm. I have found a website that addresses the problem.
As part of First Things First 2000, we challenged people to create social marketing concepts that best represented their concerns about the world we live in. Here are some of the best. The contest generated submissions from over 300 people around the world: activists, students, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, painters, filmmakers, digital artists, writers and poets. Their entries ranged from spoofs to caustic commentary and included everything from school projects to guerrilla protests. All of the submissions were designs to change the way people think and act.
The Haves & The Have Nots
Joyce Ricci Fuller, Hope Mills, North Carolina
"While teaching at community college, I was inspired by one of my students who was homeless and one of my fellow teachers who was an avid collector of Beanie Babies. It seemed ludicrous to me that some people could have so much (and not appreciate it) and others could have so little."
This one says it all-it shows the mentality involved in most advertizing.
Christopher Day, Chicago, Illinois
"What is being sold these days increasingly has less and less to do with what is being presented. In my piece, I have tried to take sex in its most dehumanized form - a pair of breasts removed from personality - and used them to sell anything and everything."
This one seems to belong here... :o)
Cees Dingler and Martn Van den Brauel, Amsterdam, Holland
"The label cleaner is a reaction to the increasingly negative influence that (sport) labels have on society. It's no longer about the shoe, the sweater or the cap. It's about the label."
Corporate American Flag
Shi-Zhe Yung, Pratt Institute, New York, NY
"I wanted to do something to the American flag that reflected the change in the spirit of America. The flag is one of the most recognizable symbols all over the world. I chose some other well-recognized emblems to replace the original stars and reflect the new power of America."
Barbra Tolentino, Chicago, Illinois
"There is too much advertising and I want more people to think about what they are seeing. I'd like to put up posters of this in public places. I want people to look at it and go 'Wow!'"
Jonathan Padwe, New Haven, Connecticut
"What is most galling about the original ad is the implicit message they broadcast: in a post-environment apocalypse life will be OK - birds and ocelots will simply drink oil, a neon orange sky is constructed as healthy."
Richard Paton, London, UK
"After traveling through Tibetan villages in India and Nepal, I was struck by the powerful religious expressions of prayer walls and prayer flags found in such remote places. They wish for world peace and the harmony of all beings, the wind blows these prayers to all corners of the earth.
"The images/wishes were made of soot collected from the exhaust pipes of cars, buses and lorries and drawn onto handkerchiefs - 'bless you' is what we say when someone sneezes.
"'Bless You' is a cynical comment on the western prayer - prevailing global consumerism. It's a comment on how unbridled consumerism is polluting our planet."
-- Cherri (email@example.com), June 07, 2000
I haven't seen today's generation affected by commercialism, Cherri, so I can't get too whipped up over this one. I remember my kids watching commercials when they were little and wanting something stupid like a doll that peed. We simply sat down and discussed the mechanics of a doll that had a hole in the mouth and a hole in the butt and decided we could cut holes in an old doll if this was what they really wanted. They didn't really want it, and realized they'd been SOLD the concept by the commercials.
They never asked for the brand-name clothing, but one daughter did buy a few brand-name items after she started making their own money. I'd guess she was 15 at the time. Now that she's a struggling college student, she goes to the thrift-store like the rest of her peers. Daughter #2 never even bought the brand-name items. She went STRAIGHT to the thrift store.
Am I not talking about the same folks you are? I guess I consider TODAY's generation to be my kids. I DO remember you mentioning Barbie Dolls and how you disliked the image there, but my girls never asked for one. They HAD one they received as a birthday present from another kid at school, but it was never something they WANTED.
I spent a lot of money on experiences. I took the kids on trips to many countries, including some very poor countries. They met other kids who didn't have beds. They slept on tables at night. Since I couldn't afford to both travel a LOT and travel luxuriously, we back- packed it everywhere and slept in some pretty ratty places and some nicer ones for the same price. I suppose these experiences led my kids to make friends with other kids who enjoyed experiences more than things.
I DID have a neighbor who felt it important to get a new car every two years and even replace all her furnishings every two years. She provided her two daughters entire collections of cabbage patch dolls and bought those Barbie "classic" models. I don't think she let her girls play with this stuff, however. It was more for "show", much like the chess-set on her coffee table and the grand piano in the living room she never used. We considered these traits of hers an oddity. I'm reminded of Y2k discussions right now. Who are these people, and why don't *I* know any of them?
-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), June 07, 2000.
Anita, You know them. I'm not talking about kids, I'm talking about the young adults, the ones in their twenties, the ones who have maxed out their credit cards and own a SUV that they drive around bumps in the road out of fear of hurting the vehecle. The generation I'm talking about is already out there consuming way beyound their means. The ones who don't have more than a few days food in their house because depend on take out. You are an exception in the way you have raised your children, there are too many of our peers who got their kids every new "fad" toy that came out. I can control what I get my kids, but I cannot control the fact that their friends show up with all the stuff that is fed to them as they watch their cable cartoons. I'm tired of seeing that little bully down the street show up with his "super soaker" strung over his sholdier like hes off to the front lines and ambushing every kid in the neighborhood. I have a neighbor who just lost her job, she is $75,000.00 in debt, She had gotten $40,000.00 in debt while she was on welfare and 4 years ago, soon as she got her $12.00 per hour job she bought a $20K SUV. She had been given credit card after credit card and was very good at manipulating them. Evedently the credit card companies didn't bother to check her source of income for all the years she was on welfare. She would buy food on credit, never had cash for anything. Unfortunatly too many people are given credit cards and are lulled by not having to make payments for 6 months and the rest of the gimicks. But then she is the kind of person who buys a dress, wears it to a wedding and takes it back the next day...
If it were the kids who are the generation with the problem there would be hope, but it is the adults who are one paycheck away from poverty.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 07, 2000.
Serious topic, IMHO. I agree with both of you.
The most inspirational advice I ever received was from a man who said to me "Try living BENEATH your means".
-- consumer (email@example.com), June 07, 2000.