Friday, December 05, 2008

The Age Of Marketing - Truth Decay

I've been wrestling with myself for months about how to start off the guts of this blog. One subject kept pinning me to the floor: Marketing Abuse. So here goes.

What is marketing? It is an extension of the fundamental human behavior of sharing. Marketing is a sub-game, part of the overall game we call 'business.' It's goal is to sell shared items or services, trading them from the people who have them to those who want or need them. How this is done is a subject of ethical dispute.

I of course focus on the element of what I call 'Truth Decay.' This term came to my attention through T-Bone Burnett, a master musician, composer and recording producer. I've followed his work since 1976. Among other things, he won a Grammy Award for his soundtrack to the film 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?", an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey by the Coen Brothers. Mr. Burnett looks and thinks remarkably like me. I believe he must be one of my long lost big cousins, so to speak. His 1980 solo album was entitled 'Truth Decay', an apt pun for the subject at hand.

We are living in The Age Of Marketing, or The Marketing Era, whichever you prefer. I use the phrases interchangably. The artifice of marketing is centuries old. But it became a subject of urgent study after corporations were erroneously given the status of 'personhood' at the end of the 19th century. This abomination was heralded into existence, I am told, but the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Odd much? I'll be covering this travesty of truth in a future post. Now that The Age Of Corporate Ascension had begun, so had The Age Of Marketing. One of the pinnacle achievements of this artifice was propaganda. To quote a quote from Wikipedia:
"Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial porposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. A propaganda organization employs propagandists who engage in propagandism—the applied creation and distribution of such forms of persuasion."
—Richard Alan Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, 1996
An excellent example of current propaganda today in the USA is the network of pseudo-political pundits in the pseudo-news media. One of the most famous pseudo-conservative political pundits was Jerry Falwell, inventor of the divisive term "The Moral Majority". Taken at face value, this term can vaguely make sense regarding human ethical beliefs. But it was used as nothing more than a political tire iron by a group of pseudo-Christian politicians. Jerry Falwell was one of the most successful propagandists in US history, pulling the wool over indeed the majority of citizens. His political movement culminated in the successful election, twice, of pseudo-conservative George W. Bush, who brought along with him the pseudo-conservative dumdum tank known as the 'Project For The New American Century', aka PNAC, infamously lead by publisher and political analyst William Krystol. The ruination of the concept of 'truth' that followed is only now being realized and understood.

In the future I'll undoubtedly post a diatribe about the history of propaganda, as well as a rant regarding what I call the 'Neo-Con-Job' movement in the USA. Please note that I have no respect for either of the political parties in the USA. If I'm biased, it is toward making sense, and neither party qualifies. It just happens that the tribe, oops I mean party, that has done the most damage recently has been the Repubicans, or Repubicraps as I sarcastically call them, as opposed to the Democrats or Democraps. In the future I will also cover the use of humor and linguistic invention in the pursuit of satire, a form of truth exhumation and zunipus humiliation.

The Age Of Marketing has created a wide variety of concepts. The best of these is the phrase "The customer is always right." This is what marketing should be: A positive service to the customer. Provide to the customer what they need and want. I consider the aberration of convincing or persuading a customer to buy something to be an art of deception, aka zunipus. It brings into the natural human sharing system all the human vices. The business game becomes an act of harming people, of harming truth.

Over time I've been categorizing ways in which bad marketing abuses customers through zunipus. Ahead is a series of short articles describing some of my concepts. I enjoy writing with a sense of irony and satire, and these articles will be no exception. I've been reluctant to post them here because they have an emotional component. They are in response to my sense of repulsion and annoyance with the acts of people I call 'Marketing Morons', those who use abusive marketing, as opposed to 'Marketing Mavens', those who use supportive marketing. Clearing away my rage regarding bad marketing, this entire issue is one of truth decay, or perpetrating zunipus for the purpose of personal gain at the expense of the welfare of others.

Share and Enjoy,