Counterculture Becomes Consumer Culture...<br>and so on and so forth ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, September 21, 2007

Counterculture Becomes Consumer Culture...
and so on and so forth

After writing about Culture, Counterculture & Kingdom earlier this week, I just read Kevin Cawley's post on a Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Becomes Consumer Culture. This is an instance of that eerie reciprocity we're told is haunting the internet.

If you're interested in this ironic cycle, check out Kevin's post for some substantiation. If you're trying to figure out how it will affect your wardrobe, you are on your own. But let me know when you find the solution. However, your hypothesis had better be more profound that "thrift stores!"



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2 comments:

John B. said...

Indeed: Revolt into Style.

Along these lines: The Mrs. recently ran across an interview in Psychology Today in which a fellow argues for what you might as well call the abolition of adolescence--that, just as occurs in "primitive" cultures, there should be a fairly immediate granting of adult privileges and responsibilities once children reach sexual maturity. In the interview, one of the things he notes is that as things stand now, there's a massive industry--clothing, cosmetics, pop media--that caters to this group, but since they have no right to own anything meaningful, it's "a $200 billion industry based on trivia." Whatever one thinks about this guy's larger thesis, when I read that statement, I thought, This guy has stated the case regarding the pure products of teen culture so succinctly that it bears thinking about.

It follows, though, does it not, that as this industry grows and young people's tastes are shaped by it, that that industry will find ways to transmogrify its products so that they'll continue to appeal to us without our feeling infantilized via our buying (into) those products. It becomes "style," in other words.

No wonder the 18-35 demographic is so valued by advertisers: aside from being the group with the most disposable income, it's almost the span of a generation.

Sorry--I've begun to ramble more than I had intended.

Ariel said...

John, your "rambling" would pass for most people's research papers.

This is a great point:
industry will find ways to transmogrify its products so that they'll continue to appeal to us without our feeling infantilized via our buying (into) those products

Not only do you seamlessly use the word transmogrify in a sentence--I think your observation is dead on. "Style" is often the emperor with no clothes. Cleverly marketed trivia... The implications are somewhat troubling, especially for people like Aidan who are always obsessed with finding "the new cool," but also kind of liberating.

I guess the onus is on us all to look for the aspects of culture that aren't shallow and faddish, and try to avoid defining ourselves by stuff that's laughably trivial.

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife