Culture Jam Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Culture Jam: The Uncooling of America, Kalle Lasn tells the reader of a profound realization that he had in a parking lot supermarket. Lasn was about to drop a coin to pull out a locked shopping cart when he felt a surge of anger towards the supermarket chain for forcing him into obedience. Furthermore, Lasn was angered by the lack of any local produce or other products in the "sterile supermarket."

Lasn, editor of the postmodern magazine Adbusters, then forced a bent coin into the slot, sabotaging the locking mechanism. He then vowed to never come back to the supermarket and instead went towards a fruit and vegetable store, one that sold locally-grown produce.

This story sets the tone of Lasn's book. Culture Jam reads like an angry and passionate rant against the "mediated, consumption-driven culture" that has taken over American society. Every American was forced into a sort of trance. Since then, we have fallen into comfortable patterns without even realizing what has happened. We head off to the mall instead of craftspeople and artisans. We go to supermarkets to buy mass-produced bread instead of going to the bakery in the corner. We buy frozen fish flown in from New Zealand instead of, well, picking up a fishing rod and going down to the river ourselves.

The triumph of mass culture, Lasn argues, is that these changes have been so ingrained and have been accepted, all in the name of convenience. The act of buying from anywhere else has acquired a novel flavor. Instead, we have been brainwashed by giant corporations and conglomerates that grow wealthy based on the "rampant, oblivious consumption" of people who have willingly given up the beauty of a world of diverse choices. For Lasn, American society's effect is akin to living in a cult.

Viewed in this late, Lasn's act of jamming a coin into the supermarket's cart machine seems less an act of vandalism. Instead, the reader sees this as an act of protest -- the first of many that Lasn would initiate. The 50-year-old Lasn now spearheads larger national and worldwide campaigns, including "Buy Nothing Day" and "Turn Off the Television Week."

The aim of these campaigns -- and Lasn's lifelong goal -- is to undermine the brainwashing corporate American has done on the country's citizens. This brainwashing promotes a culture of consumption, promising potential buyers that they could achieve happiness through their purchases, most of which they probably do not need.

In essence, American has ceased to become a free country. Instead, it is now a "multi-trillion dollar brand."

To combat this trend, Lasn has embarked on a mission of "culture jamming." His campaigns aim to "demarket" or "unsell" the unnecessary products and ideas that corporations foist on consumers. Corollary to this, Lasn also undermines the image of "coolness" many of these marketers push as the ideal or as the norm. The author strives to show how we are all unwitting victims of such conditioning.

Lasn's book is an eye-opener, particularly for people who have ever manipulated by businesses. The pushy car salesman, the interruptive telemarketer, the jarring commercial and the deluge of junk mail are all manifestations of Lasn's message. Anyone who has been subjected to these aggressive marketing techniques will find plenty to identify with in Culture Jam.

In this sense, the mainstream appeal of this book is understandable.

However, Lasn goes beyond persuasion and does some aggressive marketing of his own ideas. The author is fond of using dramatic techniques such as contrasting images, stating "Many people...seem to be experiencing higher highs and lower lows these days...We soar the skies one moment, then feel slack and depressed the next." Lasn attributes these swings to the fact that people are alienated from their real lives by corporate America's marketing of what is "cool."

However, without offering any back-ups to this argument, statements such as these often read like nothing more than overwrought impressions.

Lasn seeks to expose that we, as a society, are not truly happy. People who actually think they are happy have been brainwashed. According to the author, these are people who prioritize a false ideal and who turn to images to fulfill their needs. Such people laugh at sitcom jokes instead of listening to the funny…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Culture Jam" (2004, March 29) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from

"Culture Jam" 29 March 2004. Web.9 December. 2016. <>

"Culture Jam", 29 March 2004, Accessed.9 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Gnome Liberation Front the Plight

    Michel Klein, the local police chief said, "The liberators have failed. The gnomes are now going to spend the rest of their lives locked up in dusty cupboard."(Philip Delves Broughton) So the gnomes being liberated are not being put to any useful purpose but are being left homeless to litter the forests and lakes and in some cases streets. THE PROBABLE AGENDA OF GLF: In Britian it is said that the GLF

  • Consumer Activists Are Every Much

    Many see themselves as a David fighting the Goliath (Kozinets & Handelman, 2004). 'Evil' is a common terms used to describe either the practices of corporations or corporations themselves or ends to which consumers use their money. Consumers are generally seen as being "unreflective, unaware, and amoral or immoral" (Kozinets & Handelman, 2004, p.698) and "incapable or disinclined to reflect on their own consumer behaviors from a systemic point-of-view

  • Diversity Issues Draft

    Gender and Culture in Criminal Justice and Capital Punishment: A Regional, National and International Comparison Comparing the rates of crime and punishment in the United States as a whole to various individual regions and states, and to other countries in the world can provide very useful information regarding criminal justice policies in the nation. Through such measurement and comparisons, programs that work -- and those that do not -- can be

  • Global Market Research Roles and

    The third position means stepping outside the situation and seeing issues from the point-of-view of a third party. NLP reminds us that people receive information in various sensory channels: the visual, the auditory, the kinaesthetic (perception of movement of effort) and the digital mathematical or reasoned thinking (Taylor, 2000). The idea being that people use all of these modes, but may have a preferred mode. Ethnographic approach: this takes its

  • Sugarhill Gang s Rapper s Delight Reveals

    A high production value and an industrial feel throughout much of the song impart an engagingly chaotic and progressive feel to the song. 6. MC Lyte is one of the few successful female rappers. In "Paper Thin" MC Lyte raps over minimalist music that includes just the beats and the occasional sound of a synthesized but unidentifiable instrument playing an eerie melody. Lyte tells the story of a jilted lover,

  • Balinese Gamelan Music

    Gamelan refers to the Indonesian orchestra, typically consisting of a wide range of percussion instruments. There are many different types of gamelan music, with different sonic styles, arrangements, and instrumentations. Whereas Javanese gamelan has a rather soft sound in general and low tempo, Balinese gamelan is kinetic, with a high-energy feel and more intense staccato. The instrumentation in Balinese gamelan is different from that of other islands. Balinese gamelan uses

  • Urgent Care Centers Filling a

    One of the reasons that a lot of these centers are affordable is because half of urgent care centers are preserved by physician groups and another 38% by hospitals, which are providing their own centers distinct from emergency rooms (Alexander, 2012). More customers are using urgent care centers as their chief area of admission to the healthcare system, and 32 million more will enter in 2014 when the Patient Protection

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved