Friday, March 19, 2010

Revolutionary Idealism Sells: But Who’s Buying?

Used to be freely and spontaneously expressed by pioneering filmmakers for whom it has profound meaning, but has revolutionary idealism recently became nothing more that Madison Avenue’s Latest marketing ploy?

By: Ringo Bones

Maybe its just I got just a little fed up back in the 1990s about those clueless-about-Marxist-Leninist-socialism souls who thought those cute Che Guevara T-shirts were very snazzy just because they were promoted by Rage Against the Machine. But is this phenomenon returning in a much more insidious form, especially of the recent blockbuster success of the anti-imperialism and revolutionary idealism sentiment of James Cameron’s Avatar being used to peddle 3-D capable wide-screen TVs for the home?

Maybe the big four TV makers, namely LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, simply resorted to the next logical step in marketing when they decided to use the runaway 3-D success of Avatar. Let’s just hope that these “new generation” of 3-D capable wide-screen TVs to be launched by June 2010 are budget friendly enough for those who want to bring the Avatar experience into a domestic setting. But I also have reservations when it comes to a medium’s predictability – whether film or other mass media outlet – utilized as a moneymaking scheme by major entertainment corporations.

When George Lucas toned down the jingoism of Star Wars via the now famous line: “ A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” in order to tailor it to a post Vietnam War weary America, it did insure financial success for his masterful trilogy - Cold War-era cynicism notwithstanding. But mediums can be unpredictable too despite of how much an artist’s creativity attempts to manipulate it. When Exene Cervenka and Lydia Lunch lambasted the Internet in their satire titled Rude Hieroglyphics back in 1995 as a waste of both time and money. Little did they know that the Internet is probably the only media outlet where Rude Hieroglyphics and the rest of their music exists without being molested by US government censorship.

Some say bestowing the Oscar Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow for the sheer brilliance of The Hurt Locker is probably the best way to mark the 2010 International Women’s Day because no woman has ever received the accolade since. And a growing number even suggested that there should be a 3-D remake of Sergei M. Eisenstein’s Potemkin, though this remains to be seen. But to me bestowing the Best Director accolade to Kathryn Bigelow is probably this year’s most interesting way to mark International Women’s Day by breaking the “Glass Ceiling” that’s been haunting this accolade for far too long. I just hope that LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony doesn’t forget to preach about revolutionary idealism when they sell those 3-D capable wide-screen TVs. Or subject us lowly consumers into another BETAMAX versus VHS battle when it comes to domestic 3-D capable widescreen displays.


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  2. Its kinda weird that during the Clinton administration, Rage Against the Machine was very busy promoting Marxist-Leninist Socialism to American teens during the time when people on welfare were at an all-time low and almost every American was benefiting from Pres. Clinton's policy of fostering America's greatest period of economic prosperity ever. And it is even weirder that James Cameron's anti-imperialism / Revolutionary Idealism epic called Avatar is being used to peddle a new generation of 3-D capable flat-wide screen TVs. Looks like socialism and capitalism can coexists if there's money to be made.

  3. Given that Sony's SBM technology and HDCD were introduced at the end of a Repluclican recession. The various 3-D schemes slated for June 2010 would probably sell.