Posts Tagged ‘culture’

This YouTube video pokes fun at the fact that ‘top hits’ in the the music industry sound relatively similar to one another and that they are created off of a basic production scheme. It shows that all songs are made by having the same foundation and just altering a few things to make it come off as different. Many electronic music producers such as, David Guetta, has been targeted for creating songs that sound similar. This idea relates to what Adorno and Horkheimer have to say about the culture industry. They explain how the culture industry aims to create things like art with economic success in mind instead of creativity. If a song that was created became tremendously successful finically, why not produce a similar one and make just as much? This is the reason movies are predictable and why people sometimes confuse songs. By using this video as an example, due to the creation of a culture industry by capitalists, all the top arts (films, music…etc.) are created off of a basic step-by-step format.


Within the last two years or so, there has been a huge spike and demand for recipes, meals, and lifestyle trends that consist of including avocados. While they are common staples for sushi and guacamole dips, they’ve recently become a full-blown trend. You see them in sandwiches. You see them in salads. You see them in shakes. Within a few months, recipes like avocado soup, avocado frosting, avocado face-masks, and avocado muffins have invaded the Facebook newsfeed!

Don’t get me wrong, I have always liked avocados -even before the epidemic.

Sure, avocados have great health benefits. For instance, biotin is great for promoting hair growth and the fatty acids are great benefits to the skin. However, there aren’t any super powers that lie beneath the green, bumpy, skin.

So…why the hype? I think it has to do with Food Marketing. The media, digital or print, culture has been an assistive tool for advertisers to associate needs and desires to goods and services. Our society is submerged in a culture of commodification, consumption, consumerism, and commercialism. You can almost categorize this ‘avocado-pandemic’ to Marx’s notion of the obsessive desired to commodify goods. However, avocados are not the only foods that are affected by food advertising. The fandom list continues:

– Salted Caramel
– Pumpkin Spice
– Kale
– Sriracha Sauce

From last class, and the general discussion already started on the discussion board, I want to discuss the gendered toy advertisements and norms that are prevalent in todays society. Girls are told that playing with dolls and princesses is ‘right’ and that boys are ‘correct’ to play with super heroes and action figures. However these norms may be ubiquitous in society day, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the truth. In fact, many girls rather play with a super hero action figure, yet advertising culture suggests that it is wrong for them to do so.

This video is a great example of the truth behind the previously mentioned advertising tactics, and particularly unique because it is a young girl who finds the truth and explains the problem with these advertisements.

I’d like to further probe an idea that I brought up in class: that “Art” and “entertainment” exist in a sort of symbiotic relationship. I presented the thought that the more crap the entertainment industry produces for the masses, and for mass consumption, the harder the artists resist, and push back, attempting to create anything that is contrary to the norm. Counterculture cannot exist without culture. The mainstream is needed in order for truly resistant Art to flourish. Similar ideas are proposed in the attached video by Henry Rollins, vocalist of the legendary hardcore/punk band Black Flag. He argues that music, as an art form, is strengthened by the superfluous amount of marketed, manufactured “music” that is sold on the radio and MTV. When a band resists or denies the opportunity to be popularized, they maintain their credibility as artists.

Industry co-opts art. That is an undeniable fact, and part of the evolution of society. Innovation eventually becomes part of the mainstream, and then commodified and commercialized until it no longer holds any artistic value, only monetary value. Despicable though this process may be, it is how subcultures come into existence. Only when an idea, or genre of music, or style of painting, or any form of expression becomes the norm, can a new form of art come into existence. This process is part of how we, as part of human culture, and the culture industry, progress.