Corporate Control of the Media Defines Our Culture

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Corporate Control of the Media Defines Our Culture

Viacom is on the warpath. They got your MTV, and Blockbuster, and even Paramount pictures. Forrest Gump is on the payroll. Any rock band or rap artist who wants to be anything is too. They own your music and your movies and a lot of the television you watch, and pretty soon they'll probably own all the books you read. They don't just supply the movies or music, either. First they tell you what you're going to like- -they lifted Forrest Gump all the way to an Oscar--and then they give it to you. And, if they're marketing is as good as it usually is, you're probably going to like it. They rule your tastes. They rule your culture. Viacom is everywhere. Viacom sucks.

Viacom, with billions of dollars in their infantry, is conquering culture. They're not the only corporate general, though, leading the charge. Time/Warner has a formidable platoon, buying up magazines and chain stores and TV stations. Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, all with so much money they can't even spend it, just formed a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate called DreamWorks SKG. They want movies and music and TV and computers and anything else that entertains us. They want it all, and IBM and Microsoft and MCA records, among others rounding out the all-star corporate squad, are looking to get in on the deal. The war for cultural dominance is on, with billions and even trillions of dollars on the line. Everyone stand aside. The big guys are here to fight, and fight hard.

Culture is a multi-billion dollar industry. Movies, computers, books, CD's, theme parks--they're what Americans spend their money on. Everyone has seen Jurassic Park. Everyone has heard Michael Jackson. Entertainment, and the culture it defines, is something we all share, something that unifies the American, and even world, experience. Little else can or does. Movies, music, TV especially have become the cultural staples of our time. A number one song can make you a millionaire, and some movies become so popular that literally everyone has seen them. Entertainment defines the American scene. It is our culture. It is, then, inevitably a part of everyone's life, if not only through your pocketbook.

This, then, is what drives the battle to conquer culture--your money. American culture--what America reads, listens to, and watches--grows larger and larger every year, expanding like the Blob(a cultural icon) not only across the country but also across the world.

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