Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

The century of the self

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Adam Curtis’ acclaimed 4 part documentary examines the rise of the all-consuming self in the 20th century against the backdrop of Sigmund Freud’s pioneering work on the subconsious.

To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self seems like the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society - how did the all-consuming self appear, who played a part, and in whose interests?


The power of small things

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Rory Sutherland, one of UK advertising’s grand old men (no offence Rory) talks in a recent TED talk about how it is often the small things that meet us in our life, that makes the greatest impact. Both in terms of branding and marketing, but also for driving more profound behavioral change in society.


Arundhati Roy - Come September

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Speech by Arundhati Roy on the 18 September, 2002 - 1 year before the invasion of Irak, 6 years before the global economic meltdown.

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Why Narcissism Thrives in Modern Culture

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

250px Michelangelo Caravaggio 065 Why Narcissism Thrives in Modern Culture

Narcissism is said to be the Hysteria of the 20th century. Among other related social illnesses more and more people claim disturbance of self-esteem and a feeling of great emptiness. The “modern” narcissism however, seems not to be originated in the early childhood as once described by Freud, but to be enforced and constructed by society. Economical and technological changes, as well as changes in social values are all contributing factors to increased narcissism in post modernity.

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?


Add Up the Damage

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

 Add Up the Damage

Does anyone know where George W. Bush is?

You don’t seem to hear much from him anymore. The last image most of us remember is of the president ducking a pair of size 10s that were hurled at him in Baghdad. We’re still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel is thrashing the Palestinians in Gaza. And the U.S. economy is collapsing.

But hardly a peep have we heard from George, the 43rd.

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

  Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

“We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality.”

So writes Douglas Haddow in the cover story of Adbusters Issue #79.


The power of stories

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

 The power of stories

Jacqui Banaszynski, a former reporter from St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a story about visiting Ethiopia in 1985, during a great famine. He was struck by the singing that these people carried out every night in the face of such horror, he kept wondering how these people could in sing in the face of the unbearable horrors of 1985 – until he realized it was storytelling.

He writes: “It was how they carried their history and culture and law with them. It may have been my first conscious awareness of the power, history and universality of storytelling. We all grew up with stories, but do we ever stop to think about how much they connect us and how powerful they are?”

Bedtime stories. Tales of ghosts, struggles, love and despair. Movies, books and theatre plays. Singing for your kid or reading out loud for the person you love. Stories are all around us and they carry our culture and history with them. By some stroke of biological wonder did we become emotional beings - the art of telling good stories has been the heart and soul of our society ever since.

Whether it is in Africa in 1985 or right now. Stories is what makes us human and make us stay that way. They are what gives meaning to life.

Jonathan Harris collects small stories from life and he try to use the internet to tell them in a different way. I will leave the rest of this story to him.

Jonathan Harris collects stories


Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

From Robert B. Reich, a public policy professor at the University of California and formerly President Clinton’s secretary of labour, have come a breakthrough book on the clash between capitalism and democracy.