"I want to live in a world where human beings, not corporate entities, create the future."
Kalle Lasn heard "Just Do It" long enough. He went ahead and did it, and continues to do it, making continual statements-in-action about his utter contempt for the corporate media industry’s insidious influence upon the world. Instead of living a life conditioned by the misleading programming of companies such as Nike, he instead is forging ahead on a whole different mission: one that refuses that a person be reduced down to a simple statistic or mere commodity; one that openly rebels against the rampant materialism of the modern society. His intention is a cultural revolution designed to foster the rethinking, and thus a rebirthing, of how we live our lives.
Lasn is one of the founders of the Adbusters Media Foundation and the editor and publisher of the Adbusters magazine. They are dedicated to turning the tables over on the media industry through creatively witty, intelligently challenging, and scathing social commentary in the form of "anti-ads," "subvertisements," and "uncommercials." Designed to combat the cacophony of images we are constantly bombarded with, these artistic statements are meant to stop you in your tracks. Like the well known Joe Chemo ad-spoof (off of Camel cigarettes), where Joe has reaped what he has sown unto himself, or the controversial image of Jesus of Nazareth lugging the McDonald’s arches up the Hill of Golgotha. Whoa! Encourages a little introspection, wouldn’t you say?
"When the TV malfunctions, don’t fix it; decide to suffer through the withdrawal. Fight your way out of the consumerist cage." ~ Lasn
When Lasn wrote the book Culture Jam , he wasn’t simply challenging the media’s grip on the modern psyche, he was heralding a new movement. Person by person, country by country, a network claiming some 35,000 "hard-nosed activists" is becoming increasingly organized in "jamming" the status quo with such campaigns as Buy Nothing Day (the last Friday in November, typically the biggest day of consumerism), and TV Turnoff Week (April 21-27, in 2003).
Kalle Lasn is a revolutionary—calling for us each to examine carefully how the powers of media effect us adversely, for us to get off the couch of apathy and take intelligent action now. Lest we succumb to the day’s mire of angst, cynicism, and fear, we must transmute the indignation into a mighty lever of unbendable solidarity with which the skyscrapers be overturned, back into the earth whence they came.
"Culture jamming is about jamming the signals that put us in this trance in the first place. It’s about creating cognitive dissonance, disseminating as many seeds of truth to as many people as you can, with the ultimate goal of toppling existing power structures and changing the way we’ll live in the twenty-first century....One day soon people will get sick of fast food, fancy cars, fashion statements, and shopping malls. They will stop buying heavily-advertised products because advertising is coercive, tawdry, and just increases the cost of the product. And our children will gaze back aghast upon our own time, a period of waste and abandon on a scale so vast it has knocked the planet out of whack for a thousand years." ~Lasn
I recently had a great talk with Lasn on the phone. He well realizes the dire straits the world is in right now and has hope for potentially higher outcomes, and possibly a global mindshift. Many minds are awakening to battle both the inner cynicism ingrained in us and the external causes of the deep suffering occurring planet-wide. “Perhaps,” he wondered, “all the turmoil happening may add up to a grand epiphany which will assist the world to change.”