Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thoughts on Media

I always thought that the entertainment industry had a purpose of brainwashing the public, but the articles by Adorno, Horkheimer and Benjamin present extreme, yet very true views on what the entertainment industry really stands for. In the article written by Adorno and Horkheimer, it is mentioned how this industry is based on producing and selling with the ultimate goal of making as much money from their products as possible. Something is provided for all kinds of people so that no one is able to escape this industry. By offering so many different types of products for the public, they are basically saying how everyone must behave and submit to the billion dollar industry that owns us. We come to “understand” how formalized the procedure is when we “see” how similar the products are at the end. From block- buster movies to automobiles, they are all equipped with the latest psychological formulas to make us spend money on things that “sound” good the ear. All this made me think, are we really told that if we don’t conform (in regards to buying things that conglomerates try to sell) we are a stranger to society and left powerless, economically and therefore spiritually? Does this industry have this strong of a hold on us? I believe that we try to avoid this fact, but it does have a strong hold on us. Everything we do and say revolves around the media. Our language which is used to know the self and others has become a tool whose main component is the media. Now day’s people use the things they see in movies, T.V and what they hear on the radio as a way to connect to other people and form relationships with them. This media becomes the foundation of what is supposed to be real and sincere (ex: relationships and friendships). Which is more common with someone that you just meet, being asked what your religious and political views are or what your favorite song, movie or book is? One thing I have noticed is that every year when the first day of school comes around almost all of my Professors ask the class to describe themselves by a favorite movie, song or book. These are all things that make the media therefore, does the media define who we are as individuals? As Adorno and Horkheimer mention, “the industry robs the individual of his function.” If the industry leaves nothing for the consumer to classify a film or a song as good or bad, then we no longer engage in things with a conscious mind.
Like Walter Benjamin mentions in his article, the mechanical reproduction of the arts brush aside “creativity and genius, eternal value and mystery.” If we are deprived of the things that makes a movie brilliant and what makes a song touch our hearts, then why is it that we find ourselves so attached to this whole idea of the media. I personally found both of the readings very interesting because I work for the entertainment industry and it’s so true how the industry runs on making non- authentic products for the consumers to buy. Many of the shows out there are targeting the younger generation knowing that they are more vulnerable to things that resemble their language. We are victims in our own society. Watch out because they are out to get you big time!!!

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