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Monday, July 15, 2019

Temptation, Tempatation - Breathing Space Blog

Notes from Lead Us Into Temptation: The Triumph of American Materialism
by James B. Twitchell, Ph.D.

Chronicling America’s increasing absorption in materialism, "the most shallow of the twentieth-century’s various isms," Twitchell examines the cycle of conspicuous consumption.

Comparing the influence of contemporary marketing and advertising to that of the Renaissance-era Catholic church, he contends that both "sell peace of mind either in this world or the next."

He finds celebrity spokespersons to be "priests" of marketing, the subject of "hagiography" in television commercials that are "an almost perfect mimic of religious parables” which pay for sitcoms that instruct Americans in "how branded objects are dovetailed together to form a coherent pattern of self-hood, a lifestyle."

Shopping has become integral to the construction of the modern self. Infomercials and home shopping networks are the ultimate conspiracy, with their one-sided, two-dimensional falsely "interactive" setup.

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Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, Executive Director -- Breathing Space Institute  © 2019
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