I had written a huge entry about the evils of marketing and then accidentally deleted it. So this shorter recap will just have to do.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the media, TV shows, celebrities, sports, politics, and health topics and realizing how backwards America is. I also realize how all of these things are rooted in marketing. I’ve always accused journalists singularly for being selfish, pushing articles, and putting up false or inappropriate images just to make a buck or sell a pitch. Now I’m realizing it’s not just journalism the marketing part of journalism, as well as marketing in general.
The Mascot Issue would not exist without marketing. Eons ago, back when “racism” wasn’t a concept because White was the only race, Native American (and other minority) images, names, and stereotypes were generated to market sports teams, movies, and things like books. Marketers are literally the people sitting around going “how can we make this obvious to the public as something they can identify with”, then selling out minorities to win over the majority. A perfect example of this when Darrin Stephens in Bewitched has to sell dental crème. “We all know witches have hooked noses, warts, and blacked-out teeth,” says the owner of the crème company. Darrin doesn’t hesitate in creating an image that sells based on this stereotype. Ethics don’t play a role in business. And until Samantha flies (understandably) off the (broomstick)handle, Darrin doesn’t even pay mind that his own beautiful wife is a witch insulted by such discriminating images. Today, these same logos, brand names, trademarks, and other images become a kind of metonymy for a product. For example, “tissue” harkens to Kleenex, and we begin to think nothing is as good as that brand name.
When the media expresses its opinion on an issue, the author has to decide between pitching to this majority or understanding the minority cause. In the case of recent articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and The Washington Post, some authors have taken huge risks in defending Natives in both cities against imaging by the local sports teams. In the case of other large-stream media with other marketing interests, where unemployment is too much of a risk, this isn’t always the case. For example, Bloomberg media rarely reports on the mascot issue, generally copies-and-pastes words when it does, and considers the issue old and “scandalous” – a rather pathetic word bank, if you ask me.
But sports continue to be marketed as the Neo-Patriotism of America. These images become holier than the American flag. People put more money into expensive plastic food and chemical-laden, cheap beer than they do for positive things. They accuse doctors who save lives as making too much money and sue them like crazy for malpractice, yet it’s okay to pay a football player absurd amounts of money and let him off the hook for violating people. Even celebrities and TV are often popular for the wrong reasons. Shows like 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore, and Bridezilla make me grown as I realize how many Americans idolize these shows and lifestyles. These become “normal” ideas of the American life. And, trust me, I see the effects of this marketing. When Europeans turn up their noses at Americans for being lowly and when Central Africans tell you they could never stand this country and love their lives in Cameroon, that’s when you know you have problems. We’re not the land of the free; we’re the land of big egos, stressed lifestyles, and erroneous priotization.
And don’t even get me started on politics. I’ve come to realize it’s just a game rich people play to be famous without having any acting skills or intelligence. If they’re so good at raising money, why don’t they pull us out of debt? Any person who can market themselves to win Presidency is not an honest enough person to do the job, but any person honest enough to do the job would never sell themselves out to market themselves a win. Yup, I am disgusted with the practice of advertisement and marketing.