Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood is a stunning documentary, one that weaves together many themes familiar to regular readers of esnl.
Simply put, the deregulation of television advertising to children has transformed America’s young, transforming them from active, creative beings into narcissistic, passive consumers who derive their identities from endless consumption.
The United States is the only nation on earth that doesn’t have a policy regulating the commercial seduction of children.
And it’s really that simple. American corporations are pedophiles, devoted to the seduction and possession of young bodies and minds.
Years ago, esnl interviewed some of Southern California’s most active pedophiles, including a Scoutmaster who had created a troop solely for the sake of having a captive audience of prepubescent targets.
We learned the ploys they used in their seduction, the kinds of attention and promises they employed to dominate developing minds in order to gain possession of their bodies. We talked to the children, their parents, psychiatrists, teachers, police, academics, and the stories we wrote even won some prestigious awards.
But the lasting impact for us was a heightened awareness of the ploys used to sway young minds, and the exploitative hooks the child seducers used to make their prey feel special and desired.
In the years since, we’ve become acutely aware that precisely these same stratagems are employed by the most ruthless predator this world’s ever known, the modern corporation.
So it was with great interest and appreciation that we watched this remarkable 67-minute documentary.
It’s a dramatic and sordid story, well-buttressed by expert opinion and dramatic examples.
And when you’re done watching, we suggest you take another look with a fresh eye at yesterday’s post on the dramatic evidence of a decline in empathy among America’s youth. We think you’ll find the questions raised in that post are definitively answered in the documentary.
The corporation, thanks to the willing assistance of Congress, presidents, and the Supreme Court, has emerged as the nation’s de facto — and increasingly de jure — sovereign power.
In 1980, a Republican Congress “reformed” the Federal Trade Commission, abolishing its ability to regulate advertising aimed at children. A coup launched under a Democratic President, Jimmy Carter, was enshrined under his successor, Ronald Reagan — the Great Deregulator.
There is now no realm from which the corporate seducer is barred, and with the eager complicity of the finest minds our universities can produce, the corporate pedophile now invades every waking — and sleeping — moment of the lives of our young.
One chilling segments recounts the corporate researchers who even follow children into the privacy of the bath, “observing” how their marks “interact” with “bath products.”
Product placement has evolved from inserting brands into entertainment products to the creation of entertainment that is the brand itself. Children are even shoved into MRIs so that commercial scientists can watch their brains in action as they respond to products and ads.
And there’s even the Girls Intelligence Agency, a corporate research company which monitors thousands of young women across the country to learn how best to market their products, even enticing them into spying on their friends to aid in further corporate seductions.
The GIA’s activities sent chills up esnl’s spine, because they brought to mind the words of the pedophile Scoutmaster’s tale of how he used “my boys” to recruit new marks.
But the greatest sin of all is the corporate destruction of the imagination. We can imagine few greater crimes against humanity, for it is only through the creative use of the imagination that we will be able to extricate ourselves from the destructive morass into which the corporation has led us.
H/T to Penny for your thoughts.