You Are What You Buy: When Consumers Replace Citizens / Edition 1
When President Bush promoted shopping as a patriotic duty, the American culture of consumption hit a new low. But a quiet revolution is growing in the developing world and in a new generation of Americans, fighting the advance of the shopping malls and the desolation they leave behind. Written by one of the most insightful critics of American commercialism, The Business of America probes the forces that have transformed citizens into consumers eager to take as much as they can from the planet. From on-line shopping to spectator sports to the cash-and-carry ethos of political campaigns, Saul Landau decodes the subtle ways in which advertising images tell us to correct our inadequacies with more things: SUVs, credit cards, air conditioning, video games. The winds of change are blowing, Landau shows, from resurgent student protests for underpaid janitors to the "Group of 21," the developing countries that stopped the World Trade Organization dead in its tracks in 2003. Eschewing nostalgia for a simpler timea less-interconnected world that can never return-The Business of America shows how we as citizens can regain our identities, stripping away the plastic overlay of consumerism.
TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PREFACE FOREWORD: By Marcus Raskin INTRODUCTION I. THE BUSH VISION: A BIPOLAR POLITICAL DISORDER -The Culture of Naked Power -Politics and the Enron Scandal, Part I: The Enron System Works -Well, For Some People! -Enron Part II: Sex and the Enron Scam -A Dialogue About Sex, Violence and the Budget -It's the Budget Stupid! II. CLASSIFY THIS! NATIONAL SECURITY CULTURE SETS THE NORM -The Intelligence Culture in the National Security Age -Our Aging Faust -A Panglossian Conversation -History? What's That? III. SHEEP DON'T NEED WHIPPING: MEDIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY -World News in Shotgun Pellets of Anxiety -Religious Diversion From The Issues In The Age Of Reason And Hi Tech -Review of Pollack -Advertising Can Make You Personally and Politically Crazy -Commercial Messages Produce Advance Scatteration -Television: Democracy at its Ugliest -Clear Channel Fogs the Airwaves -The Film Industry: Business and Technology IV. AHAB CAN BEAT THE WHALE -At Two with Nature -Commuting in Los Angeles -Privatize- the Key to Public Culture -Will the Next War be Against Smog? -A Global Warming Sermon in Dialogue -An Anza Borrego Odyssey -Mount Whitney Towers Over Death Valley, but Death Valley Doesn't Look Up to Whitney -Diseased Meat? - Could be Wurst! -Exporting the Best Chemicals Money Can Absorb -Las Vegas: Bush's America -Cuba is Not Las Vegas: Scenes from a Late Summer Havana Wedding V. THE IRAQ CONNUNDRUM -Bush and King Henry-Similar Birds of Different Feathers -Don't Get Distracted by Cameron Diaz's Acne or Talk ofWar -How 9/11 Events Helped Democracy to Evolve toward Perfection -Different Worlds -Shiite Happens -The Quiet American Returns on Film -Shopping, the End of the World and G.W. Bush: Part I and II VI. CLOSING REMARKS -There is Life After Shopping-And It Feels Good VII. ENDNOTES VIII. BIBLIOGRAPHY IX. INDEX