New Blog: The Rebel Consumer
For people concerned about our consumer culture
Does your identity come from advertising?
My identity does not come from advertising
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March 2, 2006 Issue



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Vol. 12, March 2, 2006

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. A NEW BLOG FOR PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR CONSUMER CULTURE
    The Rebel Consumer
  2. BLOG ARTICLE 1:
    Does Your Identity Come From Advertising?
  3. BLOG ARTICLE 2:
    My Identity Does Not Come From Advertising
  4. BLOG ARTICLE 3:
    Why Is Everyone Smiling?
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A NEW BLOG FOR PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR CONSUMER CULTURE
Blog Name: The Rebel Consumer


In early February 2006, after sending out the Savvy-Discounts.com newsletter, I started a blog. I will add one 500 word article once a week. By Wednesday morning of each week, the new article should be online.

The web address of the blog is: rebelconsumer.blogspot.com

This blog takes a slightly different stand than Savvy-Discounts.com and looks at the underpinnings of the consumer society.

The Rebel Consumer Blog is about getting free of the advertising-marketing-consumer culture. Critics say that's impossible because any choice is a consumer choice. Well, maybe. We do live in a consumer society BUT we can buy stuff not because of its image or brand, but because it works and costs less. I believe that people don't have to live like hippies but can do this in the real world. For example, I buy low cost used stuff (not cool) that's just as good as new, but ONLY IF it meets my needs.



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BLOG ARTICLE 1: Does Your Identity Come From Advertising?


The Rebel Consumer is about getting free of the advertising-marketing-consumer culture. Yet critics say that to be rebellious is simply another choice in today's market place. In short there is nothing you can do.

This is undiluted hog-wash.

If you derive your identity from the products you own, then yes, you are stuck. If instead you get your identity from your mate or family or close friends or your dog or the hobby or art that you create or all of the above, then brand image is unimportant.

Yet critics keep insisting we are stuck. Read the rest of this article online. Click Here.



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BLOG ARTICLE 2: My Identity Does Not Come From Advertising

In the last blog article, I quoted Dr. Joseph Heath (Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto) from his article entitled "The Rebel Sell: If we all hate consumerism, how come we canít stop shopping?" He argues that anti-consumerism leads to simply another consumer choice and that rebels with their different tastes are only encouraging businesses to add rebel consumer goods to the marketplace. So instead of getting rid of the problem, rebels are actually making the problem worse. In the article he says,

"What we need to see is that consumption is not about conformity, itís about distinction. People consume in order to set themselves apart from others. To show that they are cooler (Nike shoes), better connected (the latest nightclub), better informed (single-malt Scotch), morally superior (Guatemalan handcrafts), or just plain richer (bmw)."

So I thought I would take his test myself and list some of the products that I use, for example: a Buick Park Avenue Ultra (top of the line), a Brooks Brothers shirt, an Eddie Bauer down vest and Beck's imported dark beer.

What do these products tell you about me? Take a guess and then read on. Read the rest of this article online. Click Here.



BLOG ARTICLE 3: Why Is Everyone Smiling?

The Rebel Consumer wants to know why people smile so often in advertisements.

Early in actor James Coburn's career he appeared in an electric razor ad for television. He said the hardest part was smiling while shaving. This was not a natural thing to do but a big grin was obligatory.

We have gotten so used to ads we have stopped noticing that everyone is smiling no matter how odd it is. People eating a slice of pizza are smiling, people losing weight are smiling as they bounce around now suddenly free of twenty pounds. People who were depressed are instantly happy leading full lives because they now take a prescription medicine. People with arthritis can dance freely with big grins on their faces. People who want whiter teeth are smiling because their teeth now light up a room.

I mean, come on! How absurd. And yet it is this nonsensical reality that we are exposed to hundreds of times a day in ad after ad. It is as though there were another world out there where everyone is always happy and confident. Read the rest of this article online. Click Here.


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