Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's not the me generation...

According to Christopher Hitchens, it's the YOU generation!

The next time you see an ad, the odds are increasingly high that it will put "you" in the driver's seat. "Ask your doctor if Prozac/Lipitor/Cialis is right for you"—almost as if these medications could be custom made for each individual consumer. A lawyer or real-estate agent will promise you to address "your" concerns. Probably the most famous propaganda effort of the 20th century, a recruiting poster with Lord Kitchener pointing directly outward and stating, "Your Country Needs YOU," was only rushed onto the billboards when it suddenly became plain that the country concerned needed several hundred thousand recruits in a big hurry and couldn't afford to be too choosy about who it was signing up.

We are being infantilized. Everywhere we turn, we are being treated as if the world is customized only for us. It's just like being a baby again. According to Benjamin Barber, in his new book "Consumed," the rise in consumerism has created a dangerous mentality that values personal choice over the public good, thereby infantilizing otherwise mature adults and turning children into permanent shoppers.

Read the entire Hitchens article here.

Read a review of the Barber book here.

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