Sunday, May 16, 2010

What If You Got Paid?

There was a time when people were self-sufficient. They worked only when there was work to be done. The rest of the time they spent with their families and friends. Now we have debt and other financial obligations. We have to work to meet these obligations. We do it begrudgingly because somewhere inside we know that most of these obligations could have been avoided with better information and planning.

The trouble is stuff—consumer stuff. None of this stuff amounts to anything really, but the people who created the stuff told us a good story and we bought it. Good for them—they have to eat too—though this raises difficult ethical questions, which I will not discuss here. Suffice it to say, some people create stuff and other people buy the stuff, but it's a house of cards built out of hype, status, and comfort.

TV media creators (for one example) want you to watch their shows so that you'll view the commercials. The commercials drive sales for the businesses being marketed. Increased sales means increased value, which results in more revenue being paid to the media creators. But what does the audience get?

Sadly, the answer is usually a punch in the gut or a knife to the kidney. Media and marketing deliver empty entertainment, funded by useless stuff, financed by shady credit companies who pretend to be your friend. What's in your wallet? Media promotes the lifestyle, while marketing sells the tools to pretend.

Here's the point: there's a lot of money being transferred here, but the viewers don't see a dime that isn't coming out of their pockets. So if they want us to watch their stories, chase a lifestyle, and buy the accessories of that lifestyle, then why not cut us in on the money, too?

What if you got paid to do what they wanted you to do? You watch a show or a movie, you get three friends to watch it with you. How much is that worth to the creators?

A lot.
FEATURED MEDIA: Wall-E - Another great movie from Pixar! 700 years in the future, Earth is overrun by the trash created from its consumer culture. The people have flown to outer space aboard space cruise ships. A lone robot performs his duty of cleaning up the planet until he finds himself on a journey to return the people to the newly sustainable Earth.

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