Outsider Blues
by Alex Cosper

Outside of Pop Culture

In order to understand how the old world of corporate marketers were able to gain a stranglehold on society you have to accept at some point that last century's consumers were bluffed a lot by traditional media hype. The goal of media was to steer the population towards products that hook them into religious buying patterns. Pop culture around the world ultimately was shoped by big multi-national corporations, although is the mom and pop versions of pop culture existed like sandcastles for many years until being swept away by a wave of corporate consolidation.

Have you ever tried to live on the outside of pop culture? It can be very difficult especially when friends start to wonder why you aren't conforming with them anymore. TV, movies and music all play a part in not only reflecting, but shaping pop culture. Many people think of "pop culture" as a national phenomenon, when it's actually international, national and local at the same time. That's because the entertainment industry reaches the entire world. Much of this entertainment in the past came from New York and Hollywood. So if you became hypnotized by pop culture and wanted to become a star, you needed to move to those cities, at least back in the old world before the internet radically changed everything.

Living on the outside of pop culture can be disturbing at first. The first thing you will notice when you don't conform to unwritten rules is that people will think you're weird. If you can't name any current TV shows or popular movies people think you're from another planet. But maybe you've figured out that all that pop culture stuff isn't so mysterious or compelling after all. Maybe it's just marketing.

Turning Off the News

Mass mania is often orchestrated by big media. Sometimes it's unnoticeable when it unfolds in slow motion. Think of how the nightly news has such an impact on people, at least in the short run. Many times local newscasts love to run about 10 murder stories off the bat, since old world media outlets believe that violence sells. Were these murders all on the same day? Probably not. Did they all happen within close proximity of each other? Probably not. How were they able to make it sound like so many murders happened all at once? Mainly through creative editing - mixing upcoming trials with new cases from various regions surrounding the city.

The goal of old world media is to hold your attention as long as possible, just in case your household gets selected by the ratings service. In the process of the human brain hanging on for hours to television and radio programming, attention span starts to become a loss. Over time we learn to ignore whatever mental handicaps develop from passively asbsorbing too much television. For many people all over the world, TV is part of the living room. It is not viewed as an idiot box or a vehicle that delivers lots of deceptive advertising. It is viewed as a connection with "the world" even if all it does is disconnect people from common sense and connect people with six corporations that own all the channels.

If you believe everything you see on TV then you are actually becoming disconnected from the real world. But for many people, TV is a way of life. As much as people insist they are not brainwashed by TV, research tells a different story. Research shows that TV is the most effective form of advertising due to its visual nature. If brand X is massively advertised on TV, you can almost bet that it will outsell a competing product that is never on TV.

Next Chapter: "Question What You Read" Index to Mass Mania in Slow Motion