Monday, November 16, 2009

Read my post...after these messages

I recently finished Ad Nauseam, a book from the editors of Stay Free! blogazine (used to be a zine, now a sometimes blog). The subtitle describes the book as a Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture, and while there isn't much on survival besides awareness and resisting zombifying consumerism, there's a VW bug-load of well-written, interesting pieces on consumer culture.

I grabbed the book because I loved Stay Free! The power of editing comes through in both, as many of the pieces are updated articles from the magazine. The pieces are concise, and between pieces on the neuroscience of advertising and interviews with sociologists, readers will find humorous pieces, such as parodies of mainstream ads. While the funny bits give the reader a break from the negative pieces, they do not detract from the message about how our culture is increasingly centered around the consumption of "goods," a term that helps frame the debate about consumption being beneficial as anything produced for consumption is "good."

I'd recommend this to folks who enjoyed No Logo, the humor found in McSweeney's, pop culture as analyzed by Chuck Klosterman, or who are tired of being told how smart they are by advertisers trying to convince them to buy.

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