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Creating Suckers for Consumption: MTV and Pop Culture

It would be hard for one to dispute the fact that MTV has influenced every pop culture trend since its birth in 1981. One could even say that MTV is pop culture. No other media network holds in the palm of its hand the power to control popular cultural evolution the way MTV does. What other media network has influenced and helped shape public opinion, filmmaking, newsgathering techniques, presidential politics, and world politics like MTV has? In addition to that, MTV can take credit for reconstructing the music industry (Rushkoff 126). One would be hard pressed to find a person who does not enjoy some type of music. Thus, "Music" television was built on a foundation that was virtually united by the whole world, and its popularity was inevitable. MTV chose popular music as its beating heart, instead of classical music or jazz. Young people around the country could now see their favorite music icons 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, the young people of America were given a national/international platform to share their common voice, a voice that to this day wants to be heard. Since MTV has such a large hand in shaping the young minds of today, it is important that both parents and children are aware of the impact MTV has in their daily lives.

In assessing the impact and effect of popular cultural forms like MTV, it is important to acknowledge the extent to which, rather than having them imposed upon us, we may instead appropriate or assimilate parts, whilst choosing to reject or ignore the rest. This, of course, has the consumer or viewer acting (or perhaps more accurately interacting) as opposed to simply passively receiving (Philo par 16).Even though critics of MTV stand strongly against the passive consumer, th...

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...sized advertisements that mysteriously came to life. In a Godzilla-esque fashion, a fifty-foot "Big Boy" figure, along with many others, went on a destructive rampage. Needless to say this phenomena became a media event in Springfield. When little intelligent Lisa Simpson went to try and find out how to stop this senseless destruction, she found out that the only way to kill the fifty-foot advertisements was to not pay attention to them. By having such power we prove that we are in control of our moral evolution, for better or worse. Although we don't want to be puppets to the media, it is impossible to escape from its existence. Even though MTV and other television programming is in the business of making money off of us, the consumers, it is possible to enjoy the entertainment aspects of television for virtually nothing; and still be smart in the process.

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