Fighting for mental space

Adbusters activist Kalle Lasn is interviewed on another fascinating editon of ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind, arguing that we should try and reclaim the ‘mental space’ increasingly occupied by brands, advertisements and slogans.

Lasn argues that our increasingly information rich society is causing psychological interference and inhibiting creative thought, while media manipulation is crushing diversity and eroding our ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Furthermore, he links this tendency with the level of mental illness and distress that is so prevalent in the Western world, and argues that we could be witnessing ‘the mental breakdown of nations’.

Even if you don’t agree with his views, Lasn has identified a neglected area that will undoubtedly become more important as media becomes all pervasive, and is well worth listening to.

Link to realudio archive of programme.
Link to transcript.

2 Comments

  1. Jordan Olsommer
    Posted March 15, 2005 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing intrinsic about any medium, be it television, magazine or billboard, that restricts creative thought. The same device that is capable of broadcasting the Paris Hilton Channel is capable of broadcasting Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series.
    Intellectual malcontents like Lasn are usually just upset that the majority of what the media display (which, after all, is indirectly democratic – if people don’t like a show/magazine/whatever, they don’t watch it, the advertisers leave, and that particular effort goes bust) isn’t to their personal liking. Hey look, I hate Jessica Simpson too – however, there are apparently a lot of people out there who like watching her (or worse yet, listening to her “music”) for whatever reason. I’m not going to crusade against their enjoyment simply because it doesn’t happen to coincide with mine – I’d be rather pissed if someone told me what I could and couldn’t watch, based on whether they thought it would “inhibit creative thought”.
    When we look at the media, the entertainment and advertisements around us, we see a reflection of who we are – that’s the whole point. Advertisers and entertainment producers aren’t interested in making or sponsoring things that nobody will enjoy.
    I’m all for reclaiming mental space on a personal level – I wholeheartedly recommend shutting off your television, reading books, participating in stimulating discussion, etc. But it seems as if this fella is for legislating the reclaiming of mental space according to his own personal guidelines, which is more than a little frightening.

  2. Posted March 16, 2005 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    all in the mind

    Adbusters activist Kalle Lasn is interviewed on ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind, arguing that we should try and reclaim the ‘mental space’ increasingly occupied by brands, advertisements and slogans.
    Activism for the Mind: Reclaiming Our Cerebr…


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