we the slaves to indivualism

the paradox works through the magic of cool.
the paradox is not a mystery. in 1990, the author bill mckibben recorded every minute of television broadcast over 24 hours on his 93 available channels. he then watched all 2’000-plus hours of programming. one central idea was repeated over and over, he observed, a message to every viewer that seemed to form the innermost fiber of commercial culture: “you are the center of the universe.” tradition, authority, mass media, military force – these are all losing their power to subordinate the individual. instead, they gather like vultures around the definition of indiviuality itself. don’t accuse consumer capitalism of selling a cloned culture; in fact it does the opposite. it sells the idea of self-identity, along with a set of identity symbols that each of us assembles in our own unique way. we create ourselves as individuals without ever having to rupture from the consensus about what indiviuality should look like. tens of millions of people, all finding ways to be different in exactly the same way.
adbusters ::: september/october 2003

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.