Cover image for Culture jam : the uncooling of America
Culture jam : the uncooling of America
Lasn, Kalle.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Eagle Brook, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 251 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
P94.6 .L37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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According to Kalle Lasn, publisher of Adbusters magazine, culture jamming will become to our era what civil rights was to the '60s, what feminism was to the '70s, & what environmental activism was to the '80s. Culture jammers are a global network of media activists who assert that America is no longer a country, but a multitrillion-dollar brand, built on a cult of celebrity & marketing brand names. These brands, products, celebrities -- the spectacles that surround the production of culture -- are our culture now. The architect of Buy Nothing Day & TV Turnoff Week, Lasn believes it is only by "uncooling" these symbols of culture, by organizing resistance against the institutions that manage the brands, that America can reassert herself. With cutting-edge design, this manifesto for the new millennium has the potential to completely alter the way we think & live.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Lasn, a proponent of social marketing campaigns to reduce television viewing and consumerism, laments what he sees as an American culture so materialistic that the U.S. "is no longer a country. It's a multibillion-dollar brand." Concern about consumerism has sparked a backlash movement on the order of the civil rights and feminist movements, according to Lasn. He advises resistance to the strong forces that seduce Americans (and the world) to spend more than they should to satisfy vague desires without ever addressing real problems. In a straightforward way, documentarist Lasn assesses the current situation, analyzes the problem, explores the possibilities for change, and looks at what our lives could be like without the ever-present pressure to spend and acquire. In his discussion, he examines such hot topics as the impact of televised violence on children and the effect that so much television viewing, in general, has on the level of human contact and physical activity. Lasn concedes that he himself embodies American contradictions--for example, hating the U.S. car industry and its planned obsolescence and image manipulation but loving his own car. Americans are so susceptible to media images that we've developed a penchant to shop to assuage boredom and loneliness or some other emotional void. This is an interesting examination of American culture and what can be done beyond complaining about it. Lasn is featured in the PBS documentary Affluenza and is the publisher of Adbusters magazine. He's keeps active by coming up with such media-grabbers as "Buy Nothing Day" and "TV Turnoff Week." --Vanessa Bush

Library Journal Review

For Lasn (publisher of Adbusters Magazine), "America is no longer a country but a multitrillion-dollar brand": the media and corporate greed, he argues, have hooked Americans on conspicuous consumption, turning vigilant citizens into hypnotized consumers. America's salvation lies with culture jammers, "a loose global network of media activists" whose activist program is to topple the system the book sets forth. Lasn provides lots of statistics on the harmful effects of television and advertising, but his arguments tend to rely more on intuition than proven facts. The media's pervasive influence on American culture cannot be denied, but it's not clear that its influence is as pernicious as Lasn claims. Still, while his urgent, sometimes sanctimonious tone may not convince anyone but the already-converted, Lasn's book raises important issues that deserve discussion. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄWilliam Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Culture Jammingp. xi
Mood Disordersp. 3
The Ecology of Mindp. 9
Media Virusp. 29
The Manchurian Consumerp. 37
Posthumanp. 43
The Cult You're Inp. 51
The End of the American Dreamp. 59
The Unofficial History of Americap. 65
Your Corporate Connectionp. 73
The Global Economic Pyramid Schemep. 85
The Revolutionary Impulsep. 99
The New Activism (Fire in the Belly)p. 111
The Meme Warsp. 123
The Meme Warriorp. 129
Ragep. 139
The Second American Revolution (An Assertiveness Training Workshop for Culture Jammers)p. 145
Grounding the Corporationp. 157
Demarketing Loopsp. 165
Media Cartap. 185
Redefining Progressp. 201
Epilogue: The Millennial Moment of Truthp. 211
Notesp. 217
Indexp. 237