Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture

Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture

by Carrie McLaren
     
 

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With the style and irreverence of Vice magazine and the critique of the corporatocracy that made Naomi Klein's No Logo a global hit, the cult magazine Stay Free!--long considered the Adbusters of the United States--is finally offering a compendium of new and previously published material on the impact of consumer culture on our lives.

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Overview

With the style and irreverence of Vice magazine and the critique of the corporatocracy that made Naomi Klein's No Logo a global hit, the cult magazine Stay Free!--long considered the Adbusters of the United States--is finally offering a compendium of new and previously published material on the impact of consumer culture on our lives. The book questions, in the broadest sense, what happens to human beings when their brains are constantly assaulted by advertising and corporate messages. Most people assert that advertising is easily ignored and doesn't have any effect on them or their decision making, but Ad Nauseam shows that consumer pop culture does take its toll.

In an engaging, accessible, and graphically appealing style, Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky (as well as contributors such as David Cross, The Onion's Joe Garden, The New York Times's Julie Scelfo, and others) discuss everything from why the TV program CSI affects jury selection, to the methods by which market researchers stalk shoppers, to how advertising strategy is like dog training. The result is an entertaining and eye-opening account of the many ways consumer culture continues to pervade and transform American life.

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Editorial Reviews

author of The Fortress of Solitude Jonathan Lethem
In his opening salvo in the mental war against the paradoxes of late capitalism, George W. S. Trow proposed a motto: 'Wounded by the Million; Healed—One by One.' What the editors of Stay Free! set up inside the brilliant framework of their magazine is an arena where writers can roll up their sleeves and get cheerfully to work at shrugging off the succubus of commercial culture—for their own sakes, and for all our sakes. This book is a treasury of Trow's kind of healing.
actor and comedian Patton Oswalt
There's no better way for you to avoid the pitfalls of our sinister consumer culture than by buying this book. Purchase it now. And make sure to browse the store's wide selection of novelty bookmarks.
Consumerist.com Ben Popken
Equal parts damning and delightful, Ad Nauseam is a guide for every shell-shocked consumer besieged by American commodity culture, a battleground where the greatest danger is thinking you're smarter than an ad.
creator of the "Killing Us Softly: Advertising Jean Kilbourne
As a longtime critic of advertising and a great fan of Carrie McLaren's and of Stay Free!, I welcome this collection of smart and sassy, illuminating and entertaining essays. This book is a must for anyone concerned about the increasingly pervasive and pernicious impact of the consumer culture on our lives and our world.
Book Calendar Review
Entertaining and informative … If you want to convince your dog to love your iPod, this is the book for you.
Bookslut Carolyn Juris
Several pieces … delve into less familiar territory, and in these passages, the book's themes garner real heft. … While I was reading it, and for a time after I was finished, I found myself questioning everything. … Ad Nauseum broke through the haze built up over years of media consumption.
Library Journal
McLaren and Torchinsky (Stay Free! magazine) provide a loose collection of essays and interviews to critique various aspects of American consumer culture. Two of the more thought-provoking entries are Julie Scelfo's (Newsweek) interview with NYU law professor Richard Sherwin on how television legal dramas shape expectations of jurors, and a debate between Sut Jhally (communications, Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst) and James Twichell (English & advertising, Univ. of Florida-Gainesville) about the relative merits and demerits of advertising. There are some interesting pieces from inside the world of advertising, such as one on how holidays like "National Denim Day" and "National Private Investigators' Day" came to be, and others related to how magazine media kits try to attract ad revenue. VERDICT Readers familiar with Stay Free! magazine will recognize that, while some notable original essays are included in this book, many of them, as well as fake advertisements, are reprints of material freely available on Stay Free!'s web site (www.stayfreemagazine.org). The book will appeal to readers with an ironic sense of humor or a general suspicion of consumerism as well as those who enjoy keeping track of popular culture.—Elizabeth L. Winter, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865479876
Publisher:
Faber and Faber
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,378,447
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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