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Tuesday, January 14, 2003

What Makes "American" Culture So Satisfying?

By David Tiley

Kirk Hughey's response to the Fluck thesis ["Invasion of the Culture Snatchers," Project Syndicate] is supported by a large amount of practical and anecdotal evidence about the rules behind American cultural production. The limited vocabulary displayed in TV drama is a case in point. So he is right to suggest that reducing complexity and searching for the simplest pleasures is a real strategy. What he can't explain is why these "lowest common denominator' products are so intensely satisfying. What  makes the pabulum taste so good?

This brings us back to Fluck. The story forms and character types, and the materialistic, ego-driven ways in which the heroes are gratified and rewarded contributes to the consumer's sense individualised sense of self. I am as I identify. (in both senses of the word, actually...)

Thanks for a fabulous notion.

- David Tiley

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