Archive for the 'A Culture of…' Category
Saturday, May 18th, 2013
My digging around in the Fortune 500 data — part of the slow progress toward the Courting Carmageddon book — shows that the annual revenues of the biggest 100 U.S.-based corporations is now (2011) equal to 50% of U.S. GDP. This is achieved with a number of employees equal to 8.7% of the U.S. labor force.
In 1954, by the way, the Top 100 took in revenues equal to 24% of GDP with employees numbering 7% of the national labor force. Thus, the revenue share has grown four times faster than the employment share, despite the rapid rise of the supposedly labor-intensive service sector of the corporate economy.
Talk about something that’s simply unsustainable! Alas, such utterly basic facts have zero chance of ever being reported in the marketing platform known as the
mainstream corporate media…
McDonald’s, by the way, is not in the 2011 Top 100! It is #107…
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
The New York Times today features a piece on the design of the workspace at the ?What If! [note: a fine nominee for the most annoying agency name ever] marketing agency, which “works to expand the markets of businesses like PepsiCo, Pfizer and Virgin.”
The theme is postmodern playground:
The new interiors recall the whimsies of larger creative campuses like Google. There are “stimulation” shelves for employees to display objects; white boards in the elevators (“Smiths or Cure?” read one line of graffiti the other day); a “library” with no books (just wallpaper that looks like books); and vintage stereo components that play vinyl.
Can you guess what the building housing all this behavior-engineering “play” on behalf of corporate sugar water and other forms of cash-farming used to be? Yep, a free-care hospital and a lending library.
For the umpteenth time, Orwell couldn’t make this stuff up.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
What is that? Per Advertising Age, it’s the “war room” in which Coca-Cola’s marketers are managing the social media reactions to their brand’s Super Bowl advertising.
Such are the things that get war rooms in this society…
Well, that and the wars.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
With all due apologies to fans of the 10-meter air rifle, here’s more evidence that that love child of nationalism and big business marketing known as “the Olympics” is an utterly stupid disaster.
Monday, January 14th, 2013
The New York Times is reporting that the Newtown parents have issued this statement:
“We’re looking for dialogue. We’re looking for ideas. We’re looking for a national discussion to take place. We don’t want to just come out and say this is what we stand for, this is what we believe in. We want to encourage a national discussion on this. Do something different. When you look at what’s been done in the past, it hasn’t gotten us very far. We have to do something different.”
Since it seems too far-fetched that this group remains somehow captive to any pro-gun influences, one has to take this amazing pre-emptive surrender as yet another sign of just how beaten down we are in what remains of civil society. Jesus, people, you don’t enter a life-and-death struggle asking to talk things over with you enemy. Rosa Parks didn’t ask to be allowed into the middle rows of the bus. You make a clean and simple demand and then go fight for it.
As for “what’s been done in the past,” wasn’t that a whole lot of nothing? Sheesh!
For those TCTers who are interested in this topic of liberal surrender-monkeying, I also heartily endorse Thomas Frank’s new review, in the February Harper’s, of Spielberg’s silly little “Lincoln” movie. It’s by far the best thing Mr. Frank has ever penned, IMHO. (Among other excellent observations, Frank calls Spielberg “that Michelangelo of the trite.” Oh, s–nap!)
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
I like the idea of trying to out-compete capitalists, especially if that were ever to become a policy and practice of nation-states and world government. I also like open source software, which is a pretty impressive example of the viability of the project. But, with all due respect and solidarity, I find ZSocial, the putative Facebook competitor, to be a hugely quixotic endeavor.
It doesn’t take much looking at Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to notice that “social” is hardly the essence of those operations, even from the user’s side. Legitimate information trading is certainly there, but also obviously a far-distant second to the dominant motive on display. That motive is vanity, bragging, “personal advertising.”
As such, TCT suggests that “social networking” is but a symptom of very-late-capitalist culture. It will have no place in a future progressive-survivalist socialist world. It is not just a trick to advance the penetration and power of big business marketing, but also a pure waste of time and electricity.
How and why does Z miss this basic point?