Thoughts on the Mass Market


Almost without exception, if it’s
popular it sucks.  Popular music, popular
fast food, popular politics…. It is an odd thing that in order to sell a product
at high volume it has to have mass appeal. 
Why does there seem to be an inverse relationship between quality and
quantity.  If something is good, you
would think the masses of people would like it. 
But it’s the exact opposite.    There are exceptions but they are far and few
in between.

The quality stuff is appreciated by
the few, and the lesser quality things are consumed (literally in the case of
food) by the many.  And don’t tell me
it’s a money thing – you can purchase great music on iTunes for the same cost
as crap music.  You can purchase great
food for less than fast food almost anywhere. 
You do not have to be rich or poor to understand the logical conclusions
of certain political decisions or policies.

When you look at music, you have to
ask yourself how does someone like Brittney Spears or the Spice Girls make it
big time while FAR more talented musicians and bands only reach a certain
plateau of sales?   The masses seem to
WANT to consume dumbed-down product. 
They mass market seems to WANT to not have to enjoy the nuances of the
thought and talent that is behind great music. 
The mass market seem to LIKE to be force fed and led into the precise
place, moment, and time in which any particular marketing machine wants them.  The mass market screams “lead me”.  The mass market screams “tell me what I want
to like”.  The mass market screams “tell
me who I need to be”.  The broader and
more simplistic the idea, the more mass appeal is has.  There is a lesson in that;  consume unique and sell volume.

Even in governance and politics the
same seems to also hold true.  In a paradoxical
form, the masses often favor politicians and policies that are ultimately detrimental
to their own self-interests, blinded by the speeches and never thinking through
the logical conclusions to things.  The
mass market loves beautiful ideas on paper while failing to acknowledge
reality.  And then the mass market asks
its collective self what happened when things don’t turn out the way they were
told they would.  

Look at the popular politicians in
almost ANY country.  They are not popular
because they say it like it is, they are popular because they sell unrealistic
dreams to the mass market that “just wants everything to be OK”.  Yeah me too but buying a bill of goods is not
how you get there.

But we are very fortunate to live
when we do because the current generation of parents has the unique vantage point
of living in the present with a good 10 decades of recent world history and
experiences to clearly show us where prior political experiments and ideas went
wrong and why.   

We have the benefit of years of
evidence that shows what happens when you do this or that in politics.   We now
have decades of recent history that point to why so much mass marketed food is
bad for you.    From movies such as Food Inc. to Politicians
like Barack Obama we can learn from our mistakes.  We’d better learn from our mistakes.

We have the benefit of much more
hindsight than our parents or grandparents had and can make decisions today
completely detached from the experiences of having actually lived through
decades old history where sometimes I’m sure people in those moments could not
see what was actually going on simply because they were in it.  We are in our own history right now and
should use our knowledge to consume better quality products, eat better, spend
our time more wisely, and better understand the people that want us to vote for
them before we actually hand them some power.

Education is the only way
forward.   How do you explain to your
children the past 50 years of world history?  Simple – you just look at the results.  Pick any country and look at the results,
good or bad, and objectively understand what works and what does not.

For the music thing, you’re on your
own there.  Not much anyone can do about
it if you like Brittney Spears’ music.

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