it's-kind-of-like-a-symbol-for-all-the-good-in-the-world

A little note on the cultural industry

Culture to me is something highly complex and by no means I think something exposed in the Louvre is intrinsecally superior/better than a sitcom. As I use to say, my guides in life are Ecclesiastes (yes, the Bible book), Max Weber, Hannah Arendt and Footloose (seriously, I’m able to find life wisdom about anything in Footloose, just try me).

The thing is, we live in a capitalist world, for the good and for the bad. The Louvre sells tickets and all kinds of souvenirs. Sitcoms sell advertisement spaces. Of course I know differences exist, but to live everyone needs money.

Unfortunately, some cultural manifestations are way more conected to money than others. And many of the cultural products I like are deeply connected to great corporations whose main aim is to make money. Lots of it. Thus, a great work like The Hunger Games trilogy is made into movies and its song that was supposed to be the symbol against established power is remixed to sound like a night club hit. A Song of Ice and Fire becomes a TV series that in order to get a lot of viewers explores female nudity. Great comics characters are constantly transformed so that the company that owns them make more money, regardless of what readers like and of what stories mean. I could go on and on with exemples, but you get what I mean.

How do we reconcile those things? How do we show the world that the cultural in “cultural products” is much more than the products? I don’t have an answer. Making money is a need. Period. But should we make money at the expense of anything? How do I show I support the cultural but not all of its products? I really don’t know. The answer is pretty much in trying to find a balance. The enormous outrage against The Hanging Tree club remix made it “disappear”. But outrage regarding female objetification in Game of Thrones so far brought nothing.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that we must not forget this is a capitalist world, but this doesn’t mean we should be OK with the cheapening and reduction of culture to merely another market good.

Culture makes us humans. We must not let culture and, therefore, our humanity be reduced to arbitrary capital figures.