Quotes for
the Journey:


Half the work that is done in
this world is to make things
appear what they are not.

E. R. Beadle


I just saw an ad the other day that I couldn't believe.  There was this woman--and I think it's degrading to womankind--she was going out of her mind over a new product called "A Thousand Flushes."  Here she was in her toilet, saying, "Oh, I love this product!" and, "My life is complete!"
    Good God, if your joy depends on "A Thousand Flushes," you're sick!     -Leo Buscaglia

If a person had delivered up your body to some passer-by, you would certainly be angry.  And do you feel no shame in delivering up your own mind to any reviler, to be disconcerted and confounded?    -Epictetus

What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.      -Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product
that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it.    -Will Rogers
Advertisers in general bear a large part of the responsibility for the deep feelings of inadequacy that drive women to psychiatrists, pills, or the bottle.      -Marya Mannes (1964)
You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.      -Norman Douglas

Our society's values are being corrupted by advertising's insistence on the equation:  Youth equals popularity, popularity equals success, success equals happiness.      -John Fisher
The newspaper ad showed photographs of two boats:  One was an extravagant cruiser splashing boldly through a small wave.  The other was a simple rowboat with two oars.

The cruiser, indicated the ad, was what you'd have if you did business with that financial service provider.  The rowboat was what you'd have if you did not.

Though deceptively simple, the ad illustrates the materialistic equation that tugs at our hearts, minds--and souls--each day:  the idea that bigger is better.  The idea that something garish is better than something simple.  The idea that something fast is better than something slow.  And--no pun intended--the idea that if we do not choose big, garish, and fast, then we're somehow missing the boat.

At its root, the ad wants you to feel unhappy, discontent, lacking, inferior, temporary.  Because materialism--in essence, the doctrine suggesting that things, not relationships, make the world go around--is a replacement for something else.  And when we're content with that something else--the something else you can't buy with a credit card--we won't need to adorn our lives with the unnecessary goods and services being flashed before us at every turn.

Bob Welch
The Things That Matter Most

History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time.  It is stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that.      -Malcolm Muggeridge
The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.      -Louis Kronenberger
The advertising industry is a huge industry, and anyone with their eyes open can see what it's for. First of all, the existence of the advertising industry is a sign of the unwillingness to let markets function. If you had markets, you wouldn't have advertising. Like, if somebody has something to sell, they say what it is and you buy it if you want. But when you have oligopolies, they want to stop price wars. They have to have product differentiation, and you got to turn to diluting people into thinking you should buy this rather than that. Or just getting them to consume - if you can get them to consume, they're trapped, you know.
     It starts with the infant, but now there's a huge part of the advertising industry which is designed to capture children. And it's destroying childhood. Anyone who has any experience with children can see this. It's literally destroying childhood. Kids don't know how to play. They can't go out and, you know, like when you were a kid or when I was a kid, you have a Saturday afternoon free. You go out to a field and you're finding a bunch of other kids and play ball or something. You can't do anything like that. It's got to be organized by adults, or else you're at home with your gadgets, your video games.
     But the idea of going out just to play with all the creative challenge, those insights: that's gone. And it's done consciously to trap children from infancy and then to turn them into consumer addicts.     -Noam Chomsky

The cumulative effect of initiating our children into a consumerist ethos at an even earlier age may be profound.  As kids drink in the world around them, many of their cultural encounters--from books to movies to TV--have become little more than sales pitches, devoid of any moral beyond a plea for purchase.  Even their classrooms are filled with corporate logos.  Instead of transmitting a sense of who we are and what we hold important, today's marketing-driven culture is instilling in them the sense that little exists without a sales pitch attached and that self-worth is something you buy at a shopping mall.

"No one ad is so bad," says Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist and author of The Shelter of Each Other, a best-seller about family life.  "But the combination of 400 ads a day creates in children a combination of narcissism, entitlement, and dissatisfaction."

David Leonhardt and Kathleen Kerwin
Hey Kids, Buy This!


There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products. If the products really were different, people would buy the one that's better. Advertising teaches people not to trust their judgment.  Advertising teaches people to be stupid.    -Carl Sagan, Contact
Isn't it possible that advertising as a whole is a fantastic fraud, presenting an image of America taken seriously by no one, least of all the advertising people who create it?    -David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd
It is really not so repulsive to see the poor asking for money as to see the rich asking for more money.  And advertisement is the rich asking for more money.    -G.K. Chesterton, The New Jerusalem
Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.    -Thomas Merton,
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The paradox [of advertising] is that we get two sets of messages coming at us every day.  One is the "permissive" message, saying, "Buy, spend, get it now, indulge yourself," because your wants are also your needs--and you have plenty of needs that you don't even know about because our consumer culture hasn't told you about them yet!  The other we would call, for lack of a better word, a "puritanical" message, which says, "Work hard, save, defer gratification, curb your impulses."  What are the psychological and social consequences of getting such totally contradictory messages all the time?  This is what you would call "cognitive dissonance," and the psychological consequence is a pervasive anxiety, upon which the political right has been very adept at mobilizing and building.

The puritanical message comes to us from a variety of sources: from school, from church, often from parents, and every so often from political figures when they refer to "traditional values."  Hard work, family loyalty, the capacity to defer gratification--these are supposed to be core, American values, the traits that made our country great and so forth.

But the permissive message, as I said, comes to us chiefly in the form of advertising, which is a force to which family therapists should perhaps devote more attention.  Advertising is inescapable; it is fed to us in dozens of forms and in more and more settings.

Barbara Ehrenreich
Spend and Save

All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.    -George Orwell, Why I Write
As the wall between advertising and content erodes, the aptitude required to understand the functions and design of media content becomes more complex.    -Matthew P. McAllister

What editors are obliged to appear to say that men want from women is actually what their advertisers want from women.    -Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
Advertising design, in persuading people to buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, in order to impress others who don't care, is probably the phoniest field in existence today.    -Victor Papanek, Design for the Real World
If I were asked to name the deadliest subversive force within capitalism--the single greatest source of its waning morality--I should without hesitation name advertising.  How else should one identify a force that debases language, drains thought, and undoes dignity?  If the barrage of advertising, unchanged in its tone and texture, were devoted to some other purpose--say the exaltation of the public sector--it would be recognized in a moment for the corrosive element that it is.  But as the voice of the private sector it escapes this startled notice.  I mention it only to point out that a deep source of moral decay for capitalism arises from its own doings, not from that of its governing institutions.    -Robert L. Hellbroner

Many media commercials encourage us to believe that if we buy a certain product, we can be physically appealing, or popular, or successful.  According to the commercial message, it may be easy to make friends and influence people if we simply do what we're told to do.  It would be wonderful if that were true, but unfortunately life does not seem to work that way.  What is inside of us can be much more important and influential than what is outside.     -John Marks Templeton, Worldwide Laws of Life
In a culture that is becoming ever more story-stupid, in which a representative of the Coca-Cola company can, with a straight face, pronounce, as he donates a collection of archival Coca-Cola commercials to the Library of Congress, that "Coca-Cola has become an integral part of people's lives by helping to tell these stories," it is perhaps not surprising that people have trouble teaching and receiving a novel as complex and flawed as Huck Finn, but it is even more urgent that we learn to look passionately and technically at stories, if only to protect ourselves from the false and manipulative ones being circulated among us.     -George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone
Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.    -George Santayana
One the one hand, our economists treat human beings as rational actors making choices to maximize their own economic benefit. On the other hand, the same companies that hire those economists also pay for advertising campaigns that use the raw materials of myth and magic to encourage people to act against their own best interests, whether it's a matter of buying overpriced fizzy sugar water or the much more serious matter of continuing to support the unthinking pursuit of business as usual in the teeth of approaching disaster.    -John Michael Greer, The Long Descent
Once a culture becomes entirely advertising friendly, it ceases to be a culture at all.    -Mark Crispin Miller
All of us somehow felt that the next battleground was going to be culture.  We all felt somehow that our culture had been stolen from us--by commercial forces, by advertising agencies, by TV broadcasters.  It felt like we were no longer singing our songs and telling stories, and generating our culture from the bottom up, but now we were somehow being spoon-fed this commercial culture top down.    -Kalle Lasn

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