A couple of quotes and some thoughts.
“[The founding fathers] conferred, as against the Government,
the right to be left alone — the right most valued by civilized men.”
— Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) US Supreme Court Justice, 1928
Indeed, the right to be left alone. That’s a profound thought in a new era when the battlefield of the war on terror has gone global and our fundamental right to freedom and due process have been set aside.
McWorld is a product of popular culture driven by expansionist commerce. Its template is American, its form style. Its goods are as much images as matériel, an aesthetic as well as a product line. It is about culture as commodity, apparel as ideology. Its symbols are Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Cadillac motorcars hoisted from the roadways, where they once represented a mode of transportation, to the marquees of global market cafés like Harley-Davidson’s and the Hard Rock where they become icons of lifestyle. You don’t drive them, you feel their vibes and rock to the images they conjure up from old movies and new celebrities, whose personal appearances are the key to the wildly popular international café chain Planet Hollywood. Music, video, theater, books, and theme parksthe new churches of a commercial civilization in which malls are the public squares and suburbs the neighborless neighborhoodsare all constructed as image exports creating a common world taste around common logos, advertising slogans, stars, songs, brand names, jingles, and trademarks. Hard power yields to soft, while ideology is transmuted into a kind of videology that works through sound bites and film clips.
-Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld, 1995
Yowzer! Jihad vs. McWorld? Mr. Barber could be headed to Homeland Security Halliburton Hilton for those thoughts. I think it’s a shame that American branding has devolved from images like walking lady liberty, a light held aloft by the statue of liberty, the blindfolded lady of justice to Planet Hollywood, Hummers, big macs and assault weapons.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family members, that you enjoy a good meal and good company and that you cleave to values that cannot be marked down for quick sale.