Inbox: Fighting The Marketing Machine

The Dark Side Of Stuff

It seems like ATG readers are just as fed up with advertisers as I am. Maybe it's time for an anti-advertising revolution.

Excellent column. Americans buy too much stuff and we don't know what to do with it all. Buy, Buy, Buy, then you can't pay for any of it.

George Betz

Your commentary about Caring corporations, the evils of marketing and Real Simple magazine pushed all the buttons.

I found myself nodding my head as I agreed with what you said.

I was angry that words like care, and simple have become marketing tools with subverted meanings. I laughed when you started adding up the cost of a "Real Simple" life and talked about "choice overload" being a social disease.

I was saddened that each day I need to remind myself and those I love that "Everyone has an agenda" to keep perspective.

Well done.

Brenda Kirkby

I'm in 100 percent agreement, and maybe an extremist in that I might even say you could apply it to other things.

I have friends who want the BEST school or the BEST car and so often it would do us more good to learn to get along or make the best of a less than perfect situation. Of course, I understand not wanting the worst, but obsessing about "THE" best seems to set people up for disappointment or makes them complainers.

I once told a school principal to pass on my thanks to the teachers because I wanted them to know that they didn't have to improve, things were good enough. In a way always pushing for better has an intrinsic message that things aren't good enough.

Just wanted to say I LOVED the article. No need to respond. You've probably thought stuff like this yourself. Thanks.

Daryl Allen

"The great and secret ultimate conspiracy of capitalism." Way to delve down to the source.

The Amazing American Marketing Machine. We can enter its portals and eternally occupy ourselves with the easy, the lazy and the horrifically wasteful.

Margaret Edgington

Amen! I've noticed when I go into a store, and I know in my mind the 5 things I want, upon entering those doors my mind goes blank. Those 5 things have fled. No doubt some psychological trick at work there, and they know it, an overwhelming of the senses that freezes us mentally. I once sat and added up the pages of ads each in a few typical magazines, vs the number of pages of articles, and was shocked at the amount of advertising my subscriptions were paying THEM to send me. I'm paying them to try and sell me stuff. And when are we going to start billing banks for the hours we have to spend going through the daily mailings they send us for every kind of loan, credit insurance, mortgages and credit cards we never want. Yet we have to open them, in case it is something valid, and tear or shred the stuff so identity thieves can't get it. What gives them the right to impinge on my time like that? And boy, today I noticed an online article on a news (??) website on how to get "strong, sexy shoulders" like Jessica Alba. Well first off, who has the time or mindset to even notice that her shoulders are "strong and sexy." Sexy shoulders?

Wars breaking out all over, the economy beginning to tank, an incipient pandemic in the wings, joblessness, hunger, lack of medical care, loss of pensions, and we are supposed to notice and try to emulate some starlet's "strong, sexy shoulders." Oh please...

What's happened to us?

Nancy in Virginia

If you still want to send in an e-mail, you'll have to read a real column to find the address.