Category Archives: Consumerism

Beats Music makes the most stupidest comment ever

Beats Music has made what has to be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard a corporation make about their product.

“Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual. Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete’s focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment.”

You mean to tell me that their DNA is now in danger?

Photo by freetoeknee

Expensive ice cubes, what the 1 percent does with their money

I find this utterly hilarious and sad.

These blocks run about $60-100 per unit in bulk, and typically measure 40”x20”x10” (8,000 cubic inches) — enough to yield about 500 2.5” ice cubes. As Gläce charges $325 for a 50-cube box, $3,250 of product could hypothetically be harvested from one $100 ice block — though they don’t specify their exact process.

Personally, I’d think you’re better off buying some Fiji bottled water and making ice cubes out of that. Or you could get some NY tap water which is said to be the best water around and do the same thing!

Tablets and smartphones are making your toddlers stupid

For crying out loud, don’t be so quick to pacify your little one with a touch screen device.

Here’s why:

But some experts note there’s no evidence that screen time — whether from a TV or tablet — provides any educational or developmental benefits for babies and toddlers. Yet it takes away from activities that do promote brain development, such as non-electronic toys and adult interaction.

They also say that too much screen time has been linked to behavior problems and delayed social development in older children.

They say even the tablet devices made by child edutainment companies leave much to be desired. The scariest thing for me is how television, tablets and smartphones can limit language development. It’s recommended that children be limited to two hours of screen time a day.

Fights breaking out at Wal-Mart. This is too sad. #blackfriday

This is the world that retailers have created. It doesn’t get better it only gets worse every year. Store employees die in stampedes even. This year it does seem that Wal-Mart has done a better job with security however. If you’re going to whip up a frenzy you’d better be able to control it. The pathetic part is that they are kicking people out of the store who film the fights.

Chewing makes you immune to advertising

Fascinating study by researchers at Cologne University tells us that chewing disturbs the psychological process of absorbing advertising by repetition.

The reason why adverts manage to imprint brand names on our brains is that our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name when we first hear it. Every time we re-encounter the name, our mouth subconsciously practices its pronunciation.

So by chewing  as in example: eating popcorn at a movie theater, we disrupt the process of having that brand singed into your memory.

Disney’s Brave #Fail

I really dislike what the Disney corporation is trying to do here. In the movie they tell the story of a fiery, independent and tough princess. This is a princess who is having issues conforming to what is expected of her. That’s a great story because it doesn’t limit the role of female characters –whether animated or not–and by proxy the perception of women in the real world. So why did Disney do a complete re-envisioning of the character to be one that is more docile?

On social media no one should pay you for an endorsement without disclosure

I’ve never liked these paid recommendation schemes that companies run online. I’ve also heard about people getting paid to do the same thing in person, which I also find regrettable simply because there is no disclosure in either case.

Favorable mentions on blogs have been for sale for years. Product reviews can also be bought. Now social media sites are taking citizen marketing to a new extreme, turning anyone’s Twitter message, Facebook post, Pinterest image or e-mail into a possible paid promotion.

Like the FTC representative in the article says, if you’re getting paid to push a product or service then you need to disclose that. Most of the time if I’m talking something up it’s because I actually do like that product or service. On the other hand I do have an Amazon Associate’s account which I honestly haven’t used much, but I guess I’ll disclose that too!

via NYTimes.com.

A Times article that culture jammers should read @adbusters

I found an opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review that talks about consumerism and the marketplace in a way that one is not used to seeing in the journal of record.

It’s title is the Outsourced Life and it examines how much control of our lives we’ve willingly & unwillingly ceded to the global marketplace leviathan.

The very ease with which we reach for market services may help prevent us from noticing the remarkable degree to which the market has come to dominate our very ideas about what can or should be for sale or rent, and who should be included in the dramatic cast — buyers, branders, sellers — that we imagine as part of our personal life. It may even prevent us from noticing how we devalue what we don’t or can’t buy.

What got to me is that there actually exits such a thing as a “rent-a-friend,” or actually meeting people in person is termed “dating in the wild.”

As we outsource more of our private lives, we find it increasingly possible to outsource emotional attachment. A busy executive, for example, focuses on efficiency; his assistant tells me, “My boss outsources patience to me.” The wealthy employer of a household manager detaches herself from the act of writing personal Christmas-present labels. A love coach encourages clients to think of dating as “work,” and to be mindful of their R.O.I. — return on investment, of emotional energy, time and money. The grieving family member hires a Tombstone Butler to beautify a loved one’s burial site.

If you don’t find something wrong with some of this then you might be part of the problem. We all are consumers but there comes a point in time when you have to realize that you are being consumed yourself.

The commercialization of breast cancer

 

Turns out the first woman to devise a breast cancer ribbon for grassroots movement building was right not to sell out, as this Washington Post column details.

Soon after she introduced her creation to the world, big business came calling — specifically, representatives of Conde Nast’s Self magazine and international cosmetics company Estee Lauder, who wanted to make Haley’s ribbon the official symbol of the disease. Haley, concerned about the commercialization of her creation, turned them down. Undeterred, Self and Estee Lauder consulted their attorneys, changed the ribbon’s color to pure pink — all-female focus groups said it was the most nonthreatening, reassuring and feminine color — and went on their merry way.

It’s like a double-edged sword really. On one hand you want the support that can be generated for your cause, but you hate to see it become some sort of normalized and desensitized thing. We’ve seen the same thing happen with environmentalism and it’s really painful to watch.

The two most important paragraphs in this piece that best explains what the critics of “pinkwashing” and their stance is as follows:

What critics such Ehrenreich and breast cancer activist Barbara A. Brenner chafe at, however, is the evolution of much of breast cancer activism from a scientifically curious and explicitly feminist grass-roots movement with an interest in causes and prevention to the highly marketed, watered-down and corporatized iteration of today, focused mainly on treatments and “cures.” They also question where most of the money raised is going.

“We are not doing enough with looking at the disease origins,” Din says. “Why do we get cancer in the first place? The fact is that most of the money raised focuses on awareness and lifestyle changes and not on primary prevention.”

In truth, many of the corporations now involved in this multi-million dollar campaign; who put pink ribbons on their products, may be involved in producing items that create cancer in the first place. Imagine if a bottled water company put a pink ribbon on a bottle with BPA in it?