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Session: What Is Mass Culture?
This is a Session within the Topic Culture
 
 
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Goal
What is mass culture? What is true and relevant about each perspective, and how can we bring these together to find the essential nature of this topic?
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Perspectives & Resources
Perspectives are short paragraphs summarizing any point of view about the Topic. Explore each View and then vote on it.
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"Mass culture creates a herd mentality, banishing independent and autonomous thought"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is Mass Culture?


Mass culture creates a herd mentality, banishing independent and autonomous thought

It destroys our self-confidence. It marginalizes and discredits nonconformists. It depoliticizes the citizenry. It instills a sense of collective futility and impotence by presenting the ruling ideology as a revealed, unassailable truth, an inevitable and inexorable force that alone makes human progress possible. 
Mass culture is an assault that, as Gramsci wrote, results in a “confused and fragmentary” consciousness or what Marx called “false consciousness.” It is designed to impart the belief to the proletariat that its “true” interests are aligned with those of the ruling class, in our case global corporatism.
Mass culture is an assault that, as Gramsci wrote, results in a “confused and fragmentary” consciousness or what Marx called “false consciousness.” It is designed to impart the belief to the proletariat that its “true” interests are aligned with those of the ruling class, in our case global corporatism.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 10, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Chris Hedges
"Everything we do, see and hear is the result of a perception management"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is Mass Culture?


Everything we do, see and hear is the result of a perception management

Many years ago, I'm 66, I came to know that our lives, everything we do, everything we see and hear, and everything we, as "individuals" do, is the result of a worldwide long entrenched, and still being honed, perception management program.
Our dreams are infected as well.
Facebook, Twitter, and all such interactive Internet programs are portals through which we are manipulated and managed. The realization of the extent of this insidious control mechanism has yet to be widely known, and may never be sufficiently known to cause a wholesale stepping back from this abyss.
We live now under the yoke of a corporate / military / industrial alliance, one that swung into high gear about four decades ago, so successful even they themselves are amazed.
Anyone who fails to see it is deluded, and allowing themselves to be deluded.
This election year is shaping up to be the first serious attack on this organized destruction of individualism, which is why the establishment is pushing so hard for Hillary.
Sanders is the general leading us in this great battle, one we cannot afford to lose.
NYT comment, May 22, 2016


 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 10, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of Mel Farrell
"Modern culture operates by stimuli such as sex and greed"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is Mass Culture?


Modern culture operates by stimuli such as sex and greed

Contemporary life in industrial societies operates almost entirely with such simple stimuli. What is stimulated are such drives as sexual desire, greed, sadism, destructiveness, narcissism; these stimuli are mediated through movies, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the commodity market.

“The prevailing sensibility of the video culture is that of surrealism: the project of blowing the lid off civilization through abrupt releases of irrational, libidinous energy.” Martha Bayles, Hole In Our Soul, 331
 

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(Hide)

Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on July 24, 2016
 
 
Would you like to add a Perspective or Resource to this Topic? Go to the Topic development page!
 
Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
 
 

Marshall Mcluhan, The medium is the message
Herbert Marshall Mcluhan (1911 - 1979) lecture recorded by ABC Radio National Network on 27 June 1979 in Australia
 
 
 
Link: Antonio Gramsci and the Battle Against Fascism Truthdig article by Chris Hedges.
 
 
Text: Donald Trump Is Going To Be Elected
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Donald Trump Is Going To Be Elected

Donald Trump is going to be elected president.
The American people voted for him a long time ago.
They voted for him when The History Channel went from showing documentaries about the Second World War to “Pawn Stars” and “Swamp People.”
They voted for him when The Discovery Channel went from showing “Lost Treasures of the Yangtze Valley” to “Naked and Afraid.”
They voted for him when The Learning Channel moved from something you could learn from to “My 600-lb Life.”
They voted for him when CBS went from airing “Harvest of Shame” to airing “Big Brother.”
These networks didn’t make these programming changes by accident. They were responding to what the American people actually wanted. And what they wanted was “Naked and Afraid” and “Duck Dynasty.”
The polls may show that Donald Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton, but don’t you believe those polls. When the AC Nielsen Company selects a new Nielsen family, they disregard the new family’s results for the first three months. The reason: when they feel they are being monitored, people lie about what they are watching. In the first three months, knowing they are being watched, they will tune into PBS. But over time they get tired of pretending. Then it is back to the Kardashians.
The same goes for people who are being asked by pollsters for whom they are voting. They will not say Donald Trump. It is too embarrassing. But the truth is, they like Trump. He is just like their favorite shows on TV.
Mindless entertainment.
Trump’s replacement of Paul Manafort with Breitbart’s Steve Bannon shows that Trump understands how Americans actually think. They think TV. They think ratings. They think entertainment.
We are a TV-based culture. We have been for some time now. The average American spends 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. After sleep, it is our number one activity.
More shockingly, we spend 8.5 hours a day staring at screens — phones, tablets, computers. And more and more of the content on those devices is also video and TV.
If you spend 5-8 hours a day, every day, for years and years doing the same thing it has an impact on you. For the past 40 years, we have devoted 5-8 hours a day staring at a screen — every day. And we haven’t been watching Judy Woodruff. We have been watching reality TV shows. That is what we love. That is what we resonate to. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The French may love food. The Italians may love opera. What we love is TV. We are TV culture. It defines who we are.
In the 1950s, early television was allowed, with many restrictions, to be an observational guest at political conventions. They were quiet “flies on the wall,” carefully and quietly commentating on what they saw way down below. They did not get involved in the process. Today, they ARE the process. Today, political conventions are nothing but carefully directed TV shows. Likewise “debates.” They exist only to entertain a TV audience. TV and entertainment now dictate everything political. It is a never-ending show. The biggest reality show on air.
And Donald Trump is great TV.
He knows how to entertain.
He understands ratings.
Hillary Clinton is crap TV.
She may be smarter, better prepared, a better politician. It won’t matter. She is terrible entertainment.
That’s just how it is. Depressing, but true.
He is Kim Kardashian. She is Judy Woodruff.
Who gets better ratings?
Who would you rather watch for the next four years?
Honestly...
In 1825, the great French gastronom Brillat de Savarind said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” Today, in America, we can safely say, “Tell me what you watch, and I will tell you what you are.”
And what do we watch?
It isn’t “PBS NewsHour.”
As previously posted in TheVJ.com

Michael Rosenblum
Founder of Current TV, Past President NY Times TV

Michael Rosenblum, August 21 2016

 
 
Other Resources
 
 
Video: Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry
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Source: Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry
 
Video: What is mass culture theory?
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Source: What is mass culture theory?
 
 
Conclusion
Ask the impossible question!
What is most important – and true – about each perspective, especially those you disagree with? Taking all this into account, what do you think is most important to know or do about mass culture?
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