Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn, 1999 - Harper Collins, New York.

If you look up 'cynicism' in the index of Culture Jam you are referred to the following:

"If cool is the Huxleyan 'soma' of our time, then cynicism is its poisonous, paralytic side effect. It is the dark side of cool. It's part of the reason that we watch too much TV and don't bother to vote. It's why we get stuck year after year in tedious, meaningless jobs. It's why we're bored so much of the time and become compulsive shoppers.
To find a way out of cynicism is to find a way out of the postmodern malaise. On the far side of cynicism lies freedom. And the pursuit of freedom is what revolutions - and this book - are all about.
" (Preface XV - XVI)

"Can we come up with antidotes to these infoviruses that infect our minds? The answer may depend on how much we've ingested of the most powerful and persistent infotoxin of them all: cynicism." (Page 25)

"We've grown cynical and afraid. We've forgotten what it feels like to get angry - how to do rage. We listen to that ultraconservative part of our brain that says: Hold back, be reasonable, things aren't so bad...   Postmodernism cynicism is rage that can no longer get it up. It is powerlessness, disonnection and shame. It's the loneliest kind of rage there is, different from the kinds of rage we've known in the past, which were born of injustice and nurtured by a clearly identifiable enemy." (Page 141)

"If you learn to trust [rage] and ride shotgun on it, watching it without suppressing it, you gain power and lose cynicism." (Page 143)

"The biggest impediment of revolution is a personal one: our own deep-seated feelings of cynicism and impotence. How can anything we do possibly make a difference?" (Page 211)


Sometimes it sounds as though Kalle Lasn is preaching, so he makes sure that you know that he is not right at the beginning of the book.

"The book you're holding carries a message that your first insitinct will be to distrust. That message is, We can change the world. It's risky these days to make such a promise because it sounds like one of those meaningless 'awaken the inner giant' -type bromides... But it's true. We're serious."


At first I became cynical of the media: tabloids, broadsheets, 24 hour television news, advertising et cetera. Then that cynicism moved into the things that I was reading in No Logo. I only got about halfway through because my head could not take all of the information or the frustration of 'powerlessness'. This was probably the most important part of the book for me, which led on to the second most important part, cynicism. I was thinking about my own cynicism and where it comes from. I can recall how it has been happening over the past few years; it started with the media: tabloids, advertising and later, broadsheets and television news, they all seem to have their own agenda that has nothing to do with serving me what I need. This was a bad starting point I think because I was surrounded by all of this stuff that I thought was really awful and pointless and it kind of feeds off of itself, or rather it proves itself to be awful and pointless, everyday when it creates more hype and lies.
This was a bad starting point because I followed it by reading No Logo by Naomi Klein. In the end I only got about halfway through it because my head could not take all of the information, but this is part of what I want to say. At the time, my cynicism turned what No Logo was telling me into more cynicism and not the 'call to arms' that it is sold as. All I could think was "How can anything I do possibly make a difference? What is the point?"
A speaker just fell off my wardrobe and broke my record player. I am upset about it.
Since reading Culture Jam I have been more active, I have nearly removed my cynicism. I am still very sceptical of the media obviously, it has not changed,

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