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How Brainwashing Keeps Us in the Rat Race
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
August 23, 2012
Have you ever wondered why the media likes to call us “consumers”?
In the U.S., the media is a creature of advertising, not vice versa.
Or, as a friend in one media company recently told us,
“We’re a sales organization. We’re not in the
business of information or entertainment. We’re here to sell
products and services.”
For the public – indeed, for the world – this has enormous consequences. Here are just a few.
1. Gobble Guys and Gobble Gals:
You have to be convinced that your job – nay, your duty! –
is to consume. This induced self-image will discourage you from
thinking before you buy. Indeed, you’ll feel oddly uncomfortable
(let’s call it “gobbler’s dysphoria”) if
you’re not buying something, because your identity is based on
A consumer is like a big tapeworm with a credit card. It buys, consumes, repeats!
2. The noun “saver” is forbidden, the most horrifying obscenity known to man.
“Saver” is to media what kryptonite is to the Man of Steel.
If you want to throw any public media gathering into utter confucsion,
show up wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word
3. You’ll dog paddle in debt for life.
A veritable ocean of debt, of course, is best, because you won’t
realize there’s a horizon, where those fruitcake savers live.
(Aren’t they all just crazy old people, anyway, scarred by the
Depression or some other weird event?) You’ll forget that being
debt-free is even an option, because debt will feel so normal!
4. Billions will follow – billions of people, that is.
Nothing enflames and excites like excess, and thanks to the media,
billions the world over are regaled with it every day. The
“rising middle classes” of India and China can’t wait
for their turn (who can blame them?), and they’ll soon be linking
arms with us in the great high-kicking can-can line of gobble-gobble
5. The environment collapses.
But that’s not a big deal, is it? We just have to scoot back from
the beaches a bit, like you do when you move your chair and towel when
the tide comes in. OK, maybe we have to buy some gas masks for the
smog. Put a Hello Kitty sticker on them for the kids. Not a
INSTEAD OF “CONSUMER,” HOW ABOUT “BOSS”?
All these labels are stifling and constricting, like invisible
straitjackets. Commuter, shopper, taxpayer; the list goes on and
on. Suppose we try another one for a change?
How about “Boss,” with a capital B, to make it stick?
If we really do live in a democracy, we’re the bosses, right? The
bosses of our politicians (we’re the leaders, not them; they work
for us!), the bosses of our schools (we pay for every one of them), the
bosses of our communities (ditto), the bosses of our media (ditto), the
bosses of our lives.
Now there’s a good t-shirt slogan.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM