Like book covers, by which we have been told not to judge the contents, yet nevertheless always and reliably do, we surround and clothe ourselves with outward signs of our inner life. We live in an age of mass marketing and our associations with certain brands and logos are associations with certain values or ideals. It is simply unavoidable, and we, either consciously or not, put our values, or at least our tacit approval of others' values, on display every day.
I'm not talking about such ethical consumer choices where words like fair trade, local or organic might spring up, though, that is an important discussion. I am talking about cultural products. So, while a T-shirt made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh is a material product, weighted with the socioeconomic baggage of globalism, the company putting their logo on these shirts culpable for how it is produced, and that it is something of which we should be aware, I am right now trying to talk about that logo itself, the brand, the ephemeral marker of value, that we in the Western world interact with. And, just like logos on clothing, the music, movies, books and games, those things with which we occupy our imaginations, they too are brands that signify certain values. Certainly "genre" is a type of branding.
Big Five personality traits, which are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism.Openness to experience has the highest predictive factor, showing that people who rate high in this category tend to like more complex and/or novel music. Those who are open to experience show curiosity, appreciation of art, and unusual ideas. At the same time, openness is also strongly correlated with liberal ethics, such as racial tolerance.
|Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus|
My point is that we must not be content only with what is sold to us on TV, in movies, magazines and on the radio, with what is popular, with what is spoon-fed to us. We are all cultural antennae and we have a choice of what we tune into. We must dig and sift to find art that is meaningful, important. Taste matters.