The Merchants of Cool

722 Words3 Pages
In Rushkoff’s film, The Merchants of Cool, he rhetorically questions if “teenagers even have a culture to call distinctly their own.” In the late 1990’s when the documentary was made, the implication was that they do not. However, with the internet’s advancements and the accessibility of communication with massive amounts of people, teenagers today can form authentic cultures that are not contaminated by the corporate media. When the documentary was produced, media exposure was limited to private and expensive mediums such as television, movies and radio. These outlets were plagued with marketing agendas designed to sell products under the guise of authentic music and entertainment. Formerly non-existent cultural archetypes such as the boy band, pop diva, and gothic artist were created and promoted by corporations with the intent to profit from their fame. This systematic fabrication of teenage culture was achieved through the monopolization of popular media by people and companies with money. This created a narrow and one-dimensional mainstream cultural media, limiting the prefere...

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