A dose of 7aki mish fadi : Culture Jam

I just finished reading the book Culture Jam: How to reverse Americas suicidal consumer binge – and why we must by Kalle Lasn.

This book starts with the promise that we can change the world.

What a a great eye opener, makes you really re-assess a lot of things in your life, re-assess  your habits of just consuming blindly. I really can’t give it enough credit with a review so I am just going to leave you with a short excerpt.

Mood Disorders

Imagine that you are a member of a typical postmodern family, living in a typical house, in a typical neighborhood, in a typical North American city. You’re over-leveraged and overworked. You eat a lot of takeout, your kids holler for Nike’s and the TV is on five hours a day. One day it dawns on you that , as a family, you’re failing. You aren’t so much a family as five strangers sharing power and water.

You decide, as a tonic, to go on a camping trip – a pit latrine and flame cooked wieners experience uncorrupted by phones, faxes or Bay watch. In the absence of electronic distractions, you will get to know each other again.

After only a few hours in the wilderness, though, it becomes clear that you don’t know how to do this. you might as well have been shot into deep space, so psychologically ill-equipped are you for the enforced camaraderie of the outside world.

Your kids experience actual physical withdrawal from television. Your seven year old can’t finish a whole sentence or stay focused on more than three bites of her beans. She wears the village of the damned expression and asks you to repeat almost everything you say.

Your 14 year old finishes his meal in silence and excuses himself to the tent, where he scavenges for magazines and, finding none, just conks out. There are no signs of life. The kids’ senses have become so deadened from disuse they can’t touch taste, smell or see that they are in a marvelous place. To them it doesn’t feel marvelous. It doesn’t feel like anything at all

Most of is are now fully detached from the natural world. We can barely remember the last time we drank from a stream, smelled wild skunk cabbage or saw the stars from a dark remove, well away from the city. We can’t remember when we last spent an evening telling stories, instead of having Jerry or Oprah or Rosie tell stories to us. We can’t identify three kinds of tree, but we know how much Mike Tyson received for his last fight. We can’t explain why the sky is blue, but we know how many times Susan Lucci has been passed over for a daytime Emmy Award.

As you might notice the people and events referenced in the book are kind of old since it was first published in 2000 but it is a must read book, I really think you need to read it, what an eye opener or more of a reminder really of what we are doing to ourselves and kids in this consumer society.

Currently reading : Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 
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15 Responses

  1. I do not read newspaper,listen to a radio,nor even own a TV set ,and I am finally happy and living my life.I freely admit though that I do own a laptop,and write on the Internet and read blogs,but it will not interfere with me living and enjoying my life and people in my life.

  2. oh wow.. that book is so going on my to-read list!
    bs u know, 7 yrs later, we are headed down an even worse path. even communication is so impersonal , we “connect” to each other via email or IM or even the occasional phone call, we are having less and less real face-to-face time with others that we will eventually lose our people skills.
    we are so consumed with our busy lives that we use that as an excuse…email/IM is easier, faster, etc, but this is not a good place we are heading to!

  3. This is nice, but thankfully I am not a TV Junkie (I only watch it while I am eating) 😀

    But I would probably read it regardless – like I read all other books on the beach 😀

  4. that sounds like a good read…but it is kinds of depressing eh??

  5. Looks really interesting. Thanks for the review 7aki.

    Brave New World is an amazing, but very depressing though. How are you otherwise? 🙂

  6. some how i learned to take pride in my attachment to civilization so am not willing to discover the scavenger/hunter in me anytime soon… though i wouldn’t mind camping with privileges 😛

  7. mashalla..you have alot of time to read all these books. This book is not yet for me. I believe that it is one of those books for married people only. 😛

  8. it’s brilliant that you’re shedding light on a book like this because these problems are becoming very serious and they’re stealing our humanity without us noticing.

    Really mind-numbing stuff, when you think about it…

  9. I love your reviews, A brave new world is on my list so I’ll look forward to what you have to say!

    BTW, did you ever find the fadia faqir book, I got it in the mail last week and plan on starting it as soon as I’m done with chronicles of a death foretold (really short)

  10. I think I’m with Hamza in that it’s for married people 🙂
    but as we’re in the subject … a book fair is held in Amman these days and they sell any book only for 0.25 to 0.35 dinar can you imagine? 50 thousand books were sold in the first day. but I don’t know why every time they want to come with a good thing in Jordan it must be spoiled by stupid thing collaterally. this time it’s with the fair schedule … they close at 6:00pm … and I don’t know anyone who finishes work before 5:30 so he’s capable of going to the fair without having to take a leave from work!

  11. Crystal: Good for you!

    Tinker: You are right, people are also becoming impatient too because everything is so fast paced we just want everything to go go go .

    KJ: Wow the beach, lucky you 🙂 . You are going to love the book, it doesn’t only talk about TV an stuff like that, it talks about how commercial the world has become and how we are branded for life and how the big corporations are doing that to us.

    Sam: Not really Sam, it wasn’t depressing at all.

    Whosane: Yeah I am enjoying Brave New World a lot, the beginning was a bit boring to be honest but the book picked up and I am loving it.

    All is going great 😀 bas I7na mistha2een Mr. whosane 🙂 . Yallah bikafeh ikhtifa2.

    Bambam: There’s nothing wrong with that 🙂 .

    Hamza: Lol, not at all ya 7amza, this book is more a war against corporation and the brain washing they do to tell people you are only cool if you consume this or that and about how to try and fight the machine.

    TGWTTAPCF: Absolutely. The book is full of jolts. Each chapter sheds a different light on the problems humans are having. One of them is called “ Are we crazy?” and it talks about depression and why people are on pills and this and that because we perceive our life to be like how you see I movies and read in books and you feel a failure if t does not fit in any of these molds.
    You should read it , it talks about corporations too.

    Asoom: Thanks! I really love writing these reviews; reading for me is a passion. As soon as I finish Brave New world I will write the review, I won’t procrastinate like I usually do 😀 .

    I didn’t find it on the shelf so I am going to order it when I order my next batch of books.

    Ozz: read my response to Hamza 🙂 . And to the others too, this book has much more than that issue.
    As for the books, did you see tololys post about how the stupid organizers were selling the books by the box? She went there after 1 hour of the opening and the fair was cleaned out, there were only a small number, so she went the next day and they hadn’t restocked anything. They are stupid idiots to sell them by the box, I betcha they were book stores got them for .25 and sold them for 2 JD’s or something. Makes me angry.

  12. I’ve been thinking all this time that when I do have kids, they won’t have TV or Video Games, or they will barely get to watch it. People told me my kids would hate me for that….bas yes…I think I am going to be the boring kind of parent….

  13. Priv: Good luck with that! It will be very very very very very very very hard to not have your kids watch TV, but if you can pull it off. GREAT!

    By the way, off topic, every time I see your name Priv, I read it pIrv, lol, as in pervert … HAHAHAHAHA…love your blog 🙂

  14. Thanks for the recommendation; I like your taste in books. First you wrote about the Infidel, and now this, it was a nice breathe of air to me. You’ll love Brave New World, it’s one of those books that I can read over and over again, and still enjoy it.

    I highly suggest reading Maalouf’s On Identity. BRILLIANT.

  15. MIJ: Thanks! I am really picky when I read pick a book , a lot of thought goes into buying books.

    I knew you would like this book after I read that post of yours which talked about corporations. This book is the anti advertisement anti corporation anti evil really.

    I am going to look into On Identity. Any other recommendations?

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