We are getting commercialised.
We have been colonised for centuries, and that is not good. It is going on even today. It is cultural hegemony.
We were a peaceful society of farmers. Then the slave traders came and disturbed the peace. They were succeeded by the colonials, who exploited us. Then, when colonialism became too expensive the colonial masters sent us Dr Banda, who had been culturally assimilated in the UK society, where he had spent decades. Look at his outfits: the 3 piece suits and the hat were even then outdated English. That is what he brought us, together with outdated Victorian ideas about sex: long skirts, and dance camps.
When the cold war was over the colonial masters did away with Dr Banda, and replaced him with a form of democracy that keeps the power well in the hands of a few rich stooges of the transnational capitalists, to deliver cheap tobacco (and tea, coffee, sugar). But also the (neo) colonial masters (a lot of the power had shifted to the US and China by now) want markets for their products. Under Banda there was very little advertising because there was no capitalist economy. But now we are bombarded with advertising messages, to sell the third rate products we get from the west. We get bad films: Pirates of the Caribean, violence films, sexist stuff like the Beauty and the Beast, all contaminating the taste and thinking of the population. (Yes, also good films come out of Hollywood, I was very impressed with Spike Lee’s Chiraq) And then the sugary drinks that rot our teeth: Coca Cola needs heavy advertising, because the quality of the product is bad. So they advertise with:
Think about it for a second.
Taste the feeling!
It is a command, it is not information of any kind. Taste the feeling. We all know that you feel a feeling, and taste a flavour. But Coca Cola thinks it is a good idea to give us an impossible command.
Taste the feeling!
We have enough trouble mastering English, the language of the colonial master. But now Coca Cola comes up with this nonsense. It means nothing. But Coca Cola feels it is a good idea to bombard us with the message from huge billboards all over the place.
Thinking about it is useless. It means nothing and no matter how much you think, it remains nothing. So it discourages us from rethinking messages we get. It teaches us that thinking is useless, because you get nothing, no matter how long you think. Nonsense is nonsense, and it remains nonsense. We learn to not think. We learn to buy instead. The product, the logo, and a happy person drinking the product are provided on the billboard with the nonsensical slogan.
“Taste the feeling!”
This stupefies the population. We get exposed to ever increasing amounts of nonsense, which teaches us to treat language as meaningless. We cannot think, because thinking gives you nothing.
We get the bad things of Western Society. We get films that discourage thinking. If you think about Pirates of the C. you get nothing because the film is nothing. It is a spectacle to watch, the script is bad, and there is nothing to think about because the script writer only thought about spectacle to watch, not about sensible content.
We get treated to a meaningless spectacle. The west has been exposed to this for decades. In the 1960s already Guy Debord wrote ”the society of the spectacle” to warn. But western societies paid no heed, and they have gotten to the point of stupidity that they elect a President like Donald T. That is what happens when thinking is continuously undermined by nonsensical messages like “taste the feeling”. We get this stuff, the powers behind it are too well funded for us to stop. So let’s make sure we also get the good things from the west, like real democracy, thinking, good books (like society of the spectacle, No Logo, or Mythologies ), and not only the mindless nonsense.
Lets oppose the mindlessness by ridiculing the nonsensical advertising messages. By spreading real ideas, real thinking, real intellectualism. Let’s not use all our talents to create demand for sugary drinks, bad television and consumerist culture. Go for real life. Create good, intellectual and sometimes difficult content, that stimulates thinking. Do not go for the easy nonsense of “taste the feeling”. Write thick books, watch difficult movies, ask irritating questions. Criticise, and come up with alternatives. So that we do not get cut off from our real feelings by sugary drinks that need nonsense promotion. Do not “taste the feeling” of the foreign capitalistic Coca Cola.
Forget about the capitalist take-over, taste the taste of fresh produce, feel the feeling of your own feelings.