Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from The Baffler by Thomas Frank, Matt Weiland

By Thomas Frank, Matt Weiland

From the pages of The Baffler, the main very important and perceptive new journal of the nineties, sharp, satirical broadsides opposed to the tradition Trust.
In the "old" Gilded Age, the barons of commercial collected huge wealth and effect from their railroads, metal turbines, and banks. yet this present day it's tradition that stands on the center of the yank company, mass leisure the commercial dynamo that brings the general public into the eating fold and consolidates the facility of industrial over the yank brain. For a decade The Baffler has been the invigorating voice of dissent opposed to those advancements, within the grand culture of the muckrakers and the yankee Mercury. This assortment gathers the easiest of its writing to discover such strange advancements because the start of the insurgent hero as purchaser within the pages of Wired and Details; the ever-accelerating race to marketplace early life tradition; the increase of latest enterprise experts like Tom Peters and the fashion for Hobbesian company "reengineering"; and the encroachment of advertisements and enterprise into each final corner and cranny of yankee existence. With its freeing angle and cant-free intelligence, this ebook is a strong polemic opposed to the designs of the tradition enterprise on us all.

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Extra info for Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from The Baffler

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I ts layout utilizes the now-fashionable fractured, illegible ty­ pography that is the calling card of hip publications like Raygun. I n addition, appearances b y leading pop ideologues like Camille Paglia and R. U. Sirius signaled the direction in which the magazine was headed: straight into the hearts of what one Ogilvy & Mather ex­ ecutive giddily describes as the " techno-savvies. " I n 1 99 5 , Wired made public its " HotWired" site on the World Wide Web, and created a media sensation by becoming one of the first web providers to offer advertising.

PART I The Rebel Consumer T H OMA S FR A NK Why Johnny Can't Dissent The public be damned! I work for my stockholders. -William H. Vanderbilt, 1879 Break the rules. Stand apart. Keep your head. Go with your heart. -TV commercial for Vanderbilt perfume, 1994 obviously and drastically. From the moneyed pages of the Wall Street Journal to TV commercials for airlines and photocopiers we hear every day about the new order's globe-spanning, cyber-accumulating ways. But our notion about what 's wrong with American life and how the fi gures responsible C APITALISM I S CHAN G I N G , are to be confronted haven't changed much in thirty years.

The new Beats proved 6o The Rehel Consumer to be not only derivative, but dull and sanctimonious as well. Their "poems" were merely a gimmick, amounting to nothing but broad­ sides for correct MTV attitude. N ew beats " hold" cigarettes be­ cause they want to loolc j aded; they borrow cliches from another era because they lack the imagination to dream up anything new. The fin-de-siecle Beat movement is merely a tired, contrived appropriation of a shallow aesthetic, to be enjoyed on the level of a rejuvenated fashion fad .

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