Something John Storey wrote really stuck out to me and that was that the culture industry discourages thinking (Storey, 2009).
This cartoon about sums up that whole statement from Storey. We really are conditioned from industries to think the way that they want us to. My previous blog post talked about homogeneity and how media has created the norms of society. It leads directly into this week and how people seem to not be able to think for themselves anymore. The t.v. in this cartoon is programing this man's brain while his eyes are fixed on the t.v. almost as if to say he was being rewired without even knowing.
It isn't just the consumer that seems to have lost the ability to think either. Big business are right there with the consumer now. The website below is a story on how even big industrial business can be sucked into this culture that industry has created. It is an article from Bob Glazer who talks about Volkswagen and how they were so desperate to give the American people what they wanted that they broke the law on purpose. American culture had created a demand for diesel fuel efficient cars and Volkswagen was going to give it to them even if it meant breaking EPA standards for cars. Standards were set by the consumers for a specific type of car and industrial standards were set that said a company needs to be at the top of the industry to be successful.
The whole Volkswagen debacle made me think about Walter Benjamin and how he wrote that new art is designed to be something that can be mechanically reproduced (Benjamin, 2005). Volkswagen was unable to create a new system to meet USA EPA standards. Instead the company created a system that was meant to be reproduced into thousands of cars in order to cut corners. There was nothing special about what they did. They tried to cheat the system and they got caught. If they would have been innovators and created an engine that met the EPA standards then the company would still be at the top of the automotive world. Too often consumers and business get caught up in the standardization that industry has created in societies' culture and it leads to poor decisions.
How do we break free from the type of culture industries have created for us and begin to think on our own again?
How can we break away from the normal practices of the industry and become innovators in are field?
What kind of plan can we as consumers create moving forward to break the grip that industry has over us in order to become king again and not the object?
Benjamin, W. (2005). The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In R. Guins & O.Z. Cruz et al. (Ed.), Popular Culture A Reader. London, England: Sage Publications Ltd.
Storey, J. (2009). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. London, England: Pearson Educated Limited.