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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: “The Good Consumer”

This would have looked like science fiction thirty years ago:

Today, it’s almost impossible to tell whether it’s intended as satire or as helpful advice for the modern age. (It’s satire. And thirty years ago it was, indeed, science fiction.)



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  • amanohyo

    Great video! I’ve always thought it was ridiculous that we’re expected to provide free advertising to companies by wearing their names and logos. The fashion industry has even convinced us that we should pay a premium for the privilege of being walking billboards for Nike, North Pole, Gucci, etc.

    Mark my words, very soon after they finish development of that fabric that’s able to display images, people will start selling ad space on their clothing. It’s coming sooner than you think, and sadly, it’ll only be an incremental shift from what we have now.

    This free advertising made me so angry when I was a kid (I think Nike was the first one that I remember being annoyed by) that I cut the little Jansport tags off of my backpacks, and refused to wear any clothes with a visible company name. Drove my parents nuts.

  • MaryAnn

    people will start selling ad space on their clothing

    No, they won’t sell it. They’ll give it away for free, like they do now with logos. They’ll *pay* to wear a shirt with a video ad for the brand.

  • This free advertising made me so angry when I was a kid (I think Nike was the first one that I remember being annoyed by) that I cut the little Jansport tags off of my backpacks, and refused to wear any clothes with a visible company name. Drove my parents nuts.

    Ever read William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition? The protagonist has an allergic reaction (in the form of panic attacks and migraines) to brands. She has to remove all branding from her clothing and personal items or else she cannot function. Paradoxically, her job is “coolhunter” whose job it is to identify and make brandable the up-and-coming next things.

    Have you ever read Max Barry’s Jennifer Government? Where consumerism is taken to the absurdist extreme of people taking the last name of their employers. One of the characters, Hack Nike, figures out a way to make the latest Nike shoes irresistible by murdering people who buy them.

    Seems this satire hits on elements from both.

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