Monday, June 15, 2009

think outside of the box

Today I'm calling our local cable provider to turn off our cable for a month. We know we should just go cold turkey, but hey, it's forty year old habit. I'm sure it will be like walking through molasses to get through the millions of sales pitches and irresistible offers that the C*x Rep will throw at me. Our goal is to be cable-free. I don't believe we will be purchasing a digital antenna, either. Our goal is to utilize streaming Netflix and DVDs. We're not anti-entertainment, just for anti-force-fed media. We already get most of our news from the web anyway, and we stay informed.

For several years now, I've recommended a book by Juliet B. Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture about the unethical marketing practices corporations are using, aiming as young as infancy. Today, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute wrote an amazing commentary about this very thing. Please take the time to read it, even if you can't devote the time to the Schor book. Here's a link to the Whitehead commentary, and an excerpt:
Children are in greater physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual danger now than at any other time during the life of this nation--and the threat is coming from a multi-billion dollar industry that is using the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform children into profitable consumers from cradle to grave.

It's no surprise that the pre-teen demographic has become a major draw for marketers and big business. There are presently 52 million kids under the age of 12 in the United States. These kids spend $40 billion of their own money on everything from clothes and music to toys and electronics annually, but more importantly, they influence an additional $700 billion in parental spending.


Joy said...

Applause Applause. Really I think that is great. I wouldn't mind pulling the plug on ours. But hubs has different thought. So I need to respect his view.
Good for you.


Tricia said...

This was a really good article. I saw the link you posted on TWTM. We cut cable about 15 years ago and that was the greatest thing we ever did. So now we just do movies. We don't even have rabbit ears.

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