Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan, in Understanding Media, describes the "content" of a medium as "a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind".
By that he meant that people tend to focus on, for example, the content of an advertisement, but miss the changes that advertising generally introduces subtly over long periods of time.
The advertising and marketing industries use professionals that understand our psychological weaknesses, and our deepest desires. Then they target these weakness and desires to take advantage of us.
"The objective of advertising men", said McLuhan, "is the manipulation, exploitation, and control of the individual in order to sell products to unsuspecting consumers."
Why I Am Not Selling Out
1. I am opposed to the use of corporate advertising on my blog (and anywhere else). I believe advertising to be mind-numbing propaganda of the very worst kind. It doesn't just get into your brain - it changes your brain.
2. I feel the use of corporate advertising on my blog, (and anywhere else), devalues the message. I don't want to make money with my blog - I want to change the world with my blog... for free.
3. I do not accept merchandise, gifts, favours, or brown envelopes stuffed with cash in return for advertising space on my blog (or on my person, clothes, vehicle, or any of my possessions) because they would threaten my ability to express myself freely. I want to say what I mean, and mean what I say.
4. I feel that advertising money taints relationships, and destroys integrity. Advertising tries to coax the little green pieces of paper out of your bank account and into the accounts of the biggest corporations on the planet. When we choose to play the money game, we trade our integrity and our relationships for more little green pieces of paper.