The cultural landscape and “humor” allow dissent to be effectively absorbed right in front of everyone. P.M.
The problem with cultural dissent in America isn’t that it’s been co-opted, absorbed, or ripped-off.
Of course it’s been all of these things. But it has proven so hopelessly susceptible to such assaults for the same reason it has become so harmless in the first place, so toothless even before Mr. Geffen’s boys discover it angsting away in some bar in Lawrence, Kansas:
It is no longer any different from the official culture it’s supposed to be subverting.
The basic impulses of the countercultural idea, as descended from the holy Beats, are about as threatening to the new breed of antinomian businessmen as Anthony Robbins, selling success & how to achieve it on a late-night infomercial.
Thomas Frank Why Johnny Can’t Dissent
– From Commodify Your Dissent by Thomas Frank and Matt Weiland –
(C) 1997 The Baffler Literary Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-393-31673-4
“I love advertising because I love lying.
In advertising everything is the way you wish it was, I don’t care that it won’t be like that when I actually get the product being advertised.
In between seeing the commercial and getting the thing, I’m happy….
We are a hopeful species, stupid, but hopeful…
I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.
I also think that just focusing on making money and buying stupid things is a good way of life.
I believe materialism gets a bad rap.
If your things don’t make you happy, you’re not getting the right things.
This will all be in my new book, “Soulful Materialism,” which is in the planning stages at this moment.
I am happy now.
You’ve made me happy for this five minutes of my life which will last until I get to the edge of this stage and it hits me that this was just a bunch of nonsense.”
From Jerry Seinfeld’s Clio Awards Acceptance Speech.