The Depreciation of American Culture

10 Oct

1st article of our 6 week series on Hollywood Politics Inside & Out

It’s not a surprise media companies like Time Warner own film studios. Time Warner who own major Internet, publishing, telecommunications and television divisions, owns Warner Brothers and News Corporation owns Twentieth Century Fox and the Wall Street Journal. With all this influence the progression of American culture don’t stand a chance of evolving.  In this article we will look into media companies and advertisers influence over consumers as part of an ongoing six-week series on Hollywood and Politics.

Today everywhere you look consumers are brainwashed to spend money and the biggest targets are kids, teens and young adults.  The mass media has developed sophisticated advertising techniques that make consumers think luxury items are now necessities and the less you consume the less character you have. [1] But before we get into discussing advertising let’s talk about consumption. Statistics from the World Population Balance study claim Americans make up 5% of the world’s population yet consume 20% of its energy. [2] Here are some stark figures regarding Population and Energy Consumption by Country below (the full report can be found here).

China

  • Population-20%
  • Consumption-15%

India

  • Population-15%
  • Consumption-4%

USA

  • Population-5%
  • Consumption-20%

Today industries spend millions and billions of dollars to get you to spend money on their products.  According to an article on Media & Advertising it states,

Various free media such as the numerous channels available in America and other nations are naturally subsidized with advertising to help pay the costs.”

It goes on to say,

This often means such media outlets attract greater funds than those outlets funded through public funding or TV licenses. It can mean that such outlets can also then afford better programming of key events and programs.

Given the dependency media companies can have on advertising, advertisers can often have exert undue influences (knowingly or tacitly); if something is reported that the advertiser doesn’t like or the media company has funded a documentary that exposes bad practice by an advertiser, the media company can risk losing much needed revenue to stay alive.”

During WWII, the government worked with Hollywood to use films to promote the war. Actually America produced the most war time posters than any other country during World War I & II. Yet today some consumers believe propaganda films are new. In an article called Political Hollywood a moviegoer had these things to say,

My dilemma is that Hollywood, and it’s foreign counterparts, is increasingly on a mission, and that mission seems to be the advancement of a leftist political agenda.”

She goes on to say,

Movies of late have moved well beyond the subtlety of a camera pan across a poster though. Now we get full-fledged in your face hammer to the head propaganda without any pretense.[3]

Perhaps, but this media breech can’t only be attributed to filmmakers or the left  given Fox News Channel are well known to promote right wing agendas? Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Here’s an interesting interview from fair.org from an article called The Most Biased Name in News it states,

The abundance of conservatives and Republicans at Fox News Channel does not seem to be a coincidence. In 1996, Andrew Kirtzman, a respected New York City cable news reporter, was interviewed for a job with Fox and says that management wanted to know what his political affiliation was. “They were afraid I was a Democrat,” he told the Village Voice (10/15/96). When Kirtzman refused to tell Fox his party ID, “all employment discussion ended,” according to the Voice.[4]

Another known fact media corporations “dumb down” content in favor of creating a buying mood for their  target audience. In other words, the content is not as important as the type of person being targeted.[5]   So content that’s too analytical, critical or progressive is banned. Do you think consumers, media corporations or advertisers are to blame for the depreciation of American culture today? How can consumers evolve culturally with media/advertising pushing their agendas?

Please join us for a discussion Thursday 10/ 11/2012@7pmE/12UTC

Advertisements

98 Responses to “The Depreciation of American Culture”

  1. littlebells October 10, 2012 at 10:18 AM #

    Terrific article OB! What amazing research. What is your personal opinion on this topic? What do you think Hollywood’s overall agenda is? Just.the mighty dollar or more?

  2. Open Book October 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM #

    LB-U said: “What do you think Hollywood’s overall agenda is? Just.the mighty dollar or more?”

    IMO some in Hollywood care about educating and advancing our culture through Independent Filmmaking and public television. One of the ways consumers can resist the dumbing down of our culture is by supporting industries that produce informative, progressive content because the more support we give to quality programming the more it becomes apart of the mainstream.

  3. Comic Relief October 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM #

    As an article, I think this topic really starts the series well. Actually I really appreciate the scope as well. I agree sponsorship can easily be the foundation of everything when consuming entertainment.

  4. Comic Relief October 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM #

    Really interesting article OB and can’t wait for the discussion.

    I read what you said about supporting the goals of advertisers and think your concerns are very valid. I especially agree since every advertiser’s agenda doesn’t necessarily support the public good. Numerous food and drug company’s products have been proven to be neither nutritious nor medically sound.

    Not the FDA but clearly an unenthusiastic review from someone who calls himself “Super taster”:

    • Open Book October 10, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

      CR- I really like watching these videos from Supertaster.com. He was reading some of his fan mail and one person said he drinks beer like a woman. hahahaha! He’s really great.

      • Comic Relief October 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

        Thanks for the tip. Now I’m headed to the web site to get myself the same laugh.

        • Open Book October 10, 2012 at 9:53 PM #

          Well it’s really funny to me because he really reviews junk food like its gourmet food. So far from the videos I’ve seen not one vegetable or fruit seems to be on the menu. He really is a fast food preservative food commercial. This is really unhealthy to watch sometimes. LOL!!

          • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM #

            OMG I love him! I can’t stop laughing, which is not good as I’m currently eating a bowl of crave and it may end up going over my keyboard if I don’t stop laughing! Maybe it’s a slightly different recipe over here but I still know what he means, lol!

            • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

              Yes! in America the Krave cereal I’m sure has Silly Putty in it. LOL!!

              • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

                Lol! I now want to try the American version. Actually thinking about it, if it’s like that link you sent me, I don’t want to try them! Then again, I don’t think there’s much difference. Hmmm, this could have me going back and forth all night!

  5. Comic Relief October 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

    “How can consumers evolve culturally with media/advertising pushing their agendas?”

    May I ask whether you consider an organization like the WGBH Educational Foundation, (a frequent supporter of PBS) having an agenda? What do you think it is? And why do you see as being less caustic than other financial supporters.

  6. Open Book October 10, 2012 at 6:11 PM #

    Those are funny videos CR. hahahahaha!

  7. Open Book October 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM #

    CR-

    “May I ask whether you consider an organization like the WGBH Educational Foundation, (a frequent supporter of PBS) having an agenda? What do you think it is? And why do you see as being less caustic than other financial supporters.”

    Me: Well everyone in reality has an agenda. The question is does their agenda inform, educate, empower, challenge or support progress? Today advertisers don’t want consumers to think but react and assimilate like children. Individuality and originality are very mature traits that adults relate too not teens and not embraced in our current mainstream media. Adult consumers need to get more involved and think more critically about what’s in front of them.

    • Comic Relief October 10, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

      thanks for that clarification.

  8. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:06 PM #

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight.

  9. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:16 PM #

    This is a really great doc from PBS.

  10. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

    Can you name a television program or film from this year that you found original and progressive?

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM #

      Here’s a list of films for 2012 to help.

      http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2012_movies/Movies_In_Theaters_2012.php

    • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM #

      Thanks for the list! I haven’t seen it, but i would say Cosmopolis for sure. Of those I did see, I would say I really liked Bernie, but honestly nothing really stood out. I’m looking forward to Argo and Lincoln. 🙂

      • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

        Hi LB-

        ITA Cosmo for sure, Argo and Django.

        • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 8:18 PM #

          Django!!!! I cant believe I forgot to mention that one. Duuuh!!!!

  11. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

    Hi All!

    Sorry I’m late! Let me read and get caught up. 🙂

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      Hi!

      How are u? Take your time.

  12. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

    I’m great! how are you?

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

      I’m fantastic!!

  13. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM #

    Q: “Do you think consumers, media corporations or advertisers are to blame for the depreciation of American culture today?”

    • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

      Yes! I think its all these things that you mentioned. I see our society today as a bunch of “drugged” people running around. Meaning that we allow ourselves to be “fed” this nonsense and not think for ourselves. When will we as a society think for ourselves again?

      • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

        To be an individual thinker isn’t what advertisers want. I honestly think people have lost faith in themselves that they put all their trust in things outside of themselves.

    • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

      No audiences get what they pay for or tolerate.

  14. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

    My thoughts on things: Given my prior work experience (retail) it was a given that if you were selling something you found a way to get kids to like it. That way they go home and bug the parents to no end.

    The state of television right now I can’t stand it. Honestly, I was shown a South Park episode the other night that dealt with how did we get to where we are as far as our “bar” being so low that people are watching Honey Boo Boo? Yes, they made relentless fun of honey boo boo. They also had on a exxon commercial that said the U.S. is 17th internationally as far as education and Finland is first.

    As Americans, I know that we pride ourselves on being a great country but other countries must look at us and say to themselves “They are so dumb.”

    How did we let our bar get so low? No one wants to challenge things anymore. As a society, I feel that we lost the spark that made this nation great.

    • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

      APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

      I remember women saying they were reading 50 Shades because their life was so stressful they needed some brain numbing material. I’m not arguing either side of that, but I will say…shoot, I have nothing logical to say. hahahaha!!

      One of our major problems in this country is lack of critical thinking skills. I won’t regurgitate everything I’ve said before on this subject, but I’ve talked to many people lately who have brought that topic up.

      Because TV pretty much sucks, I’ve resorted to recording episodes of the Cosby Show. That was a very fun, yet educational show. It brought up history, Shakespeare, how to manage money, getting an outstanding education, etc…

      Honestly, I think it is going to be by word of mouth that we get any upcoming film of substance to be seen and successful. Unless someone tells you there is more than meat and potatos for dinner, how will you ever know there is pasta, sushi, beans and rice, etc…

      From what I have seen in recent school curriculum, you can see the gov’t trying to get the US back up their on the list, but all kids get is a fast paced lesson where they are shoved information and expected to retain it. the math program my school has now is a lesson a day, and no one is doing well.

      so anyway…point being unless we make a major effort to teach critical thinking in our families, neighborhoods, group of friends, community, …we’re just going to get dumber and dumber.

      • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

        LB,

        “‘Critical caring skills” would be nice also. Navel gazing is’nt the answer for anyone, yet most commercials promote it all the time.

        Being obsessed with yourself as most of the “5O Shades” readers are purely gurantees we’ll all be sad in the long run.

        • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 9:09 PM #

          yes CR! Thank you for addressing the caring issue as well. We have become a “ME! ME! ME!” society who feels they can say whatever they want to anyone, no matter how rude and hateful it can be. Kindness seems to have gone out the window. So has thinking about others, but that’s part of the critical thinking skills. I have to teach my children “How would you feel if so-and-so told you you couldn’t play with them?” Then talk about it.

          Yes, there are those families out there who are teaching all these wonderful qualities. I know lots of them, but as a whole country, or at least what we see around us, it’s pretty crappy.

      • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 9:02 PM #

        Well I applaud u LB. Great addition to the discussion. I have the logical answer for u regarding 50 shades? Midlife crisis, self-hate and a splash of Xanadu.

  15. ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    Very interesting article OB! It raises some great questions too! 🙂

    • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:01 PM #

      Hi Ozzie! how are you?

      • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

        Tired but good! 🙂

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

      How are u?

      • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

        Sames as above but I’ll add that I still have a diseased arm as you know what I mean, lol!

        • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM #

          No problem Oz!

  16. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:05 PM #

    Paris-

    ITA it’s become unpopular to challenge oneself. I think its due to advertisers brainwashing consumers to adopt juvenile behavior. I have never been so shocked by the number of adult women that have adolescent behavior with Twilight. The reason advertisers push adolescent behavior because people are more emotional and impulsive. Why do u think adult women have allowed themselves to be manipulated by popular culture so easily?

  17. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

    I don’t mean this to sound derogatory but I don’t think adults nowadays have truly “grownup” I hope that makes sense. Some of them are just grown up teens who never challenged themselves to make a better life for themselves. They are “kids in adult bodies”

    They don’t want to be adults. They still want to be kids. They are forgetting though that one day they will not be here. What will they leave behind for their children and the rest of the generations to follow?

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:20 PM #

      No u are being observant. Do u think parents or society is to blame for this problem?

      • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:32 PM #

        I think both the parents and society are to blame for the problem.

        Most parents are only teaching their kids what they have been taught because its ingrained into them.

        Society goes along with everything because as a society we are afraid of change. However, if we as a society want to see change, we have to be the change.

        • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

          I grew up in a very competitive family. Do u believe parents are too over protective that it give kids a false sense of security etc… Today too many adults are afraid of failure why is that?

          • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

            I’m sorry, but I think there is a major problem if 1) you award a kid for going to school or practicing their reading and writing, 2) you give out trophies to a team that has lost every single game, and 3) you give incentives for doing WHAT YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE DOING!!!

            Holy crap! We didn’t have attendance awards when I was growing up! I didn’t get a prize for reading a book! If we lost at a dance competition, we learned good sportsmanship! Without failure you can’t get better! And how does one to be responsible if one grows up getting rewarded for doing what they should be to begin with.

            • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM #

              THANK YOU! I’m telling you I’m homeschooling my kiddies if this crap keeps up.

            • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 9:12 PM #

              This would not even fly with me. What about practice makes perfect or fall off dust yourself off and try it all over again. LOL!! Why do adults want to assimilate today?

    • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM #

      “What will they leave behind for their children and the rest of the generations to follow?”

      *shudders* I hope there is better than what I’ve seen.

  18. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

    Q:How can consumers evolve culturally with media/advertising pushing their agendas?

  19. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:18 PM #

    They can’t unless they travel the world.

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM #

      Paris-

      Do u mean consumers need to travel the world to become cultured?

      • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

        Sorry I meant to say-

        “Do u mean American consumers need to travel the world to evolve culturally?

        • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

          My reply to you is at the bottom. 🙂

          • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:28 PM #

            got it thank u!

  20. Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

    Sorry for being late. OB this article gets better by the hour. Catching up.

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

      Hi CR-

      No problem!

  21. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

    That’s the only way to do it in my eyes because all the educational shows are either on at 2 in the morning or have been pulled off the t.v. Plus it doesn’t hurt to expand your horizons once in a while. 🙂

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

      Yes! My middle name is tumbleweed so I won’t argue with u there. LOL! However, if u can’t afford to travel to another country what other things could people do?

      • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM #

        Developing a sense of fear might help.

        • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:33 PM #

          LOL! Please expand on this statement please?

          • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM #

            ….sure one second….

            • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

              Meaning the US is likely to be heading for a rude awakening.

              We consume way more than our population merits, and things appear to be getting worse rather than better.

              Fear might turn these patterns in reverse.

              • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

                “Meaning the US is likely to be heading for a rude awakening”

                Again expand please!!

              • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

                The ignorant general public thinks because Romney is a Republican he’s fiscally smarter than the Democrats or Obama. But the truth is he just wants a license to drive the economy off the cliff.

                Its amazing Obama spent his entire term trying to stabilize the economy enough to fix it.

                And here’s another Republican with another Armageddon strategy.

                Sorry couldn’t help myself. 🙂

              • littlebells October 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM #

                I agree and not teaching good work ethics anymore is also part of the problem. Sorry everyone for going off topic. you are just hitting nerves that I need to get off my chest! hahahaha!!! 🙂

                OB–you don’t necessarily have to travel around the world. There are enough places in our communities where you can step out of your comfort zone. Try a new food. Talk to someone who comes from another country and ask them questions.

                • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

                  TRUE!

        • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

          I can’t believe the fiures in your…

          http://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/population_energy

          … article.

          It made me curious about the USA’s GNP (Gross national product).

          • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM #

            This blurb is from Wikipedia about the GDP the gross domestic product basically it discusses how robust world economies are;

            ”This article includes a list of countries in the world sorted by their gross domestic product (GDP), the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. The GDP dollar estimates presented here are calculated at market or government official exchange rates.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

            List by the International Monetary Fund (2011)[2]

            World 69,899,225
            European Union 17,610,826

            United States 15,075,675
            China 7,298,147

            Japan 5,866,540

            Germany 3,607,364
            France 2,778,085
            Brazil 2,492,907

            United Kingdom 2,431,310
            Italy 2,198,732

            Russia 1,850,811

            India 1,826,811

            List by the CIA World Factbook (2000-2011)[2]

            World 69,990,000
            European Union 17,330,000

            United States 15,090,000
            China 7,298,000

            Japan 5,869,000

            Germany 3,577,000
            France 2,776,000
            Brazil 2,293,907

            United Kingdom 2,418,000
            Italy 2,199,000

            Russia 1,850,000

            Canada 1,737,000

            List by the CIA World Factbook (2000-2011)[2]

            World 62,633,783
            United States 14,447,100

            China 5,739,358

            Japan 5,458,873

            Germany 3,280,334
            France 2,559,850
            Brazil 2,088,966

            United Kingdom 2,253,552
            Brazil 2,088,966
            Italy 2,051,290

            India 1,722,328

            Canada 1,577,040

            • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM #

              Yep! The numbers are scary. Do u think corporations or consumers are to blame?

              • Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

                Consumers. We live in a democratic society. We’re to blame.

  22. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

    I love docs. or people could take a foreign language or relation class etc….

    • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

      foreign language only works well if you have someone to practice with. They don’t delve into the culture of the country until higher levels. When the student is more proficient.

  23. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM #

    they could read a book. LOL! bad joke. but Docs and t.v. programs can only take you so far in the experience. I think to be truly cultured one needs to go and experience other places. you know “live in another person’s shoes” for a bit.

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

      Great joke btw. LOL!! However ITA with u.

    • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM #

      Charity?

      Sorry for the lack of ideas and replies, I’m agreeing with everyone and I don’t want to put alot of variations of “I agree too” all over the place, lol!

      • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

        LOL! Its ok Ozzie! The board won’t allow you to leave duplicate comments anyway.

        • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

          Really? I did not know that!

          • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

            Yep ! I have tried and it won’t allow you to.

  24. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

    I found something cool the other day that I would like to share.
    http://www.rps.lincs.sch.uk/

    Notice the name. but look at the school as a whole. They have foreign language and religion classes. It looks like from what I’ve read they teach the basics of each religion. Just so the students are aware of why people believe the way they believe. I may be wrong.

    So I did some research on Sir Robert Pattinson. He did alot of things for the county where he lived. Still can’t find why they named the school after him though. Maybe it was because he was also on the education council.

    • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

      Is that not something offered in America?

      • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

        not in public schools no. if a student wants religion they have to go to that specific religion. They also have certain text books they are allowed to study from so what they study is censored.

        • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 9:17 PM #

          Wow! I don’t even know if we have banned text here. I don’t know why but I always assume that roughly everything is the same between the two countries!

          • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 9:18 PM #

            its not banned. its censored. which means the students will only learn what the adults want them to.

      • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

        Ozzie,

        Are schools like Sir Robert Pattinson Academy the standard in England? Meaning are there more schools like his?

        • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 9:09 PM #

          Yes, all of them. It’s the standard national curriculum. I can’t remember if you have to do a GCSE (the major exams here) in R.E. (I think you do) but you have to take at least one language. The difference between the SRP school and mine is that there are more languages offered. That could of changed though. I did enjoy the lessons though, especially R. E.!

          • parisienne October 11, 2012 at 9:17 PM #

            What’s R.E.?

            • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

              Sorry! It stands for Religious Education. I thought it was brilliant! I think I still have a few things I made in class in a draw somewhere because I loved them that much! I am such a geek!

  25. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

    Perhaps Rob #2 should start a school. That would make people sit up and take notice of him!

    • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM #

      LMAO! It sure would!

  26. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    Here’s his wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Robert_Pattinson I think the things he did. he helped alot of people. now if one person can do all these things why can’t others?

    • Open Book October 11, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

      I was reading what u posted Paris.

      How cool! This is really inspiring. Yes R#2 should do it.

  27. Comic Relief October 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM #

    Sorry to show up late then go so soon. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant article OB!!!! I’m sure I will return to it later.

    Bye everyone and take care.

  28. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 9:04 PM #

    bye CR!

    The VP debate is on right now if anyone is interested.

  29. littlebells October 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

    I will be back! Watching the debate too!

  30. Open Book October 11, 2012 at 9:15 PM #

    Oh! Sorry…..Yes! I will wrap things up tonight. If u would like to continue the discussion I will check back later.

    TC!

  31. parisienne October 11, 2012 at 9:19 PM #

    bye! Ozzie, I’m on YM if you wanna chat.

    • ozzie20 October 11, 2012 at 9:28 PM #

      I’m logging on now! 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: