This morning, I heard a fascinating CBC interview with the authors of The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t Be Jammed. They had some pretty fascinating and contrarian ideas about consumer culture:
Guaranteed to incense both the followers of Naomi Klein’s No Logo, as well as their right-wing counterparts, The Rebel Sell argues that decades of countercultural rebellion have not only been unhelpful, but counterproductive. Heath and Potter offer a startling blend of pop culture and political manifesto as they consider the birth of the rebel consumer, the enforcement of norms within the counterculture, the need to untangle questions of social justice from the countercultural critique, and what it will really take to turn consumers into citizens.
What sucked me in was when one of the authors said that “Martha Stewart is an anti-materialist”, because she encouraged her audience to make things from scratch. They went on to highlight how both Adbusters and Mother Jones magazines are now selling shoes. As they put it, “anti-consumerism is a great sales model”. Here’s an article from This Magazine on the book.