Brian Vaszily (pronounced "vay zlee")
is a bestselling author, positive change advocate, speaker/organizer and
sometimes funny guy whose life mission is to help others explore, experience
and enjoy life more intensely while bypassing the traps that would hamper
that goal -- particularly unscrupulous marketing and rampant consumerism.
Brian is the founder of IntenseExperiences.com,
has authored several books including the acclaimed novella Beyond
Stone and Steel (see Very-Clever.com
for some reviews), and with over fourteen years of marketing management
experience is President of the TopMarketingPro consultancy.
In addition to his How
We Get You columns here at SixWise, Brian also leads the popular Sixwise.com
'Live Deeper' Blog by Brian Vaszily." He has appeared on many
TV and radio shows and been quoted in many publications regarding his
books, columns, articles and ideas. Brian Vaszily was born and raised
in Chicago, growing up on the northwest side in the blue-collar Portage-Cragin
neighborhood. Brian and his wife and two children currently reside outside
I will now transform back into the irresponsible and rabid but successful mainstream marketer I once was in order to convey this to you most effectively.
As a big marketer, one of the most effective techniques I use to divert you away from what really matters in life and instead focus your worries, time and money on what will make my wallet fatter is jolting you into submission.
We jolt you without your awareness in any direction we want you to go -- a direction that always benefits us, of course, whether "us" is a corporation or political party -- and the sick beauty is that you actually believe where we took you is where you wanted to go.
At an inevitable later point, it does finally dawn on you that you've been electro-prodded into beliefs and habits that are not really your own. Beliefs like physical beauty is ½ of everything and financial wealth is the other ½, and habits like buying endless pills to become healthier and working routine sixty-hour weeks "to get ahead."
By the time the realization hits that you've been tricked into these beliefs and habits for other people's gain, though, you're sick, fat, depressed, stressed, broke, angry or possibly already dying due to our jolting.
Hurry, Read this Section Before I Blow It Up!
(The Jolting Part)
So how do we jolt you?
Like all the other techniques we use to get you, for our jolting to work, we depend entirely on the First Real Rule of Marketing, that most people don't believe they can be manipulated all that much. You may scan-read this article, for example, and think "Somewhat interesting and kind of scary, so thank God I'm pretty much above that!"
That kind of thinking is our foundational requirement for jolting you.
We've most mastered how to jolt you into a zombie-like stupor in order to easily con you into spending your time and money on the cars, movie stars, gym shoes, politicians and lifestyles we're selling through the visual mediums of television and Hollywood films.
That is not to say we aren't incredibly good at jolting you through magazines, radio, and all the other mediums, because we are. But we have perfected it where it impacts you the most.
Movies, commercials and TV shows (including and especially "the news") are in fact measured for their likely success within the industry by their "jolts per minute," or JPM. This refers to how many times within an average minute that you, the viewer, are going to be "jolted" by something in the program that stimulates your base senses. The more JPM, the more likely that commercial, movie or TV show will be a "hit."
Fear, sexual desire, rage and jealousy are among your most dominant base senses. These are subconscious to instinctual states of being. They don't require you to think in order to produce them. These are where we target all of our jolting.
The average child will see about 8,000 murders depicted on TV before finishing grade school.
Kids see about 10,000 television rapes, assaults, and murders each year.
And that's why the commercial world is saturated with violence and sex. They are the easiest, fastest and most effective methods to stimulate and manipulate your base senses (though like any drug, they are only effective if they are ever-increasing ... which is why in American culture they ARE ever-increasing.)
When the bad guy gets his head blown off or the oil tanker explodes and almost kills the good guy, you release infantile utterances like "Oooh" and "Aaaah" and you feel fright, rage or primitive satisfaction. You are certainly not in conscious thinking mode. You are not pondering man's inhumanity to man or the meaning of justice or fate or God. You are reacting.
When you reach for the magazine with the supermodel in a perfect airbrushed bikini smirking next to the headline shouting "Lose 20 Lbs in 10 Days with the North Woods Diet!" you're reacting to your desire to be more desirous. You are not pondering the true nature of beauty itself, or even the true airbrushed nature of the model's bikini.
Getting jolted by us is very easy for you and -- in the same base sense that eating cheese is for a mouse -- quite enjoyable for you. Therefore the TV shows, movies, commercials, magazine and newspaper articles, websites and all the rest with high levels of jolts per minute (or jolts per page, etc.) are largely perceived as "good."
Meanwhile, concentrating and contemplating are hard, so the movies, shows, magazines, and more that challenge you to do so are far worse than bad to most -- they're "boring."
And boring is largely ignored.
Concentration and contemplation -- the enemy of irresponsible and rabid marketing -- is largely and increasingly ignored.
Watch as this Section Strips Completely Naked!
(The Submission Part)
So how do we jolt you so extensively that we can take advantage of you?
First, realize that TV shows, including the news and including sports, are produced primarily to sell the commercial space that surrounds them (and increasingly infiltrates them) to corporate advertisers.
You as a viewer are their secondary market.
In order to please the primary market and get as much of their advertising dollars as possible, the big marketers (the network executives, producers, promoters, directors, etc.) will do whatever it takes to feed them as much secondary market (you) as possible.
Similarly, Hollywood's key goal is not to entertain you (and certainly not to enlighten you.) It is -- like every other corporation -- to make as much money as possible.
The easiest, fastest, least expensive, most effective and most profitable way we have found to do this -- at least in the short-term which is what it's all about for us -- is no different than what is the easiest, fastest, least expensive and most profitable in the more overt forms of advertising: to repeatedly jolt you until you're stunned into submission and you:
Find it boring and even excruciating to have to think deeply when all you want to do is kick back and "be entertained"
Are therefore actually craving more of our jolting
With you begging us for more "good" entertainment - that is, movies and TV shows and Super Bowl commercials and articles on celebrities and all the rest that stimulate your basest senses more, more, more but that don't bother you with having to think or feel deeply -- you are essentially handing me and my peers in marketing the electric prod to control your beliefs and habits.
We can now much more easily make you (and the even more malleable minds of your daughters) believe that physical beauty really is the be-all and end-all -- and sell you our pretty movie stars and diet pills and night creams and plastic surgeries.
"We believe that the McDonald's brand is so omnipresent already in America that having it in music, having it in TV, having it in movies, is no more intrusive than anything else children experience nowadays." -- A McDonald's spokesperson responding to Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood's criticisms of a plan to pay hip-hop artists to plug Big Macs in their lyrics.
We can now much more easily make you (and the even more malleable minds of your sons) believe that terrorists and murderers and ninjas are lurking around every corner -- and sell you our toy guns and real guns and video games and hate music and political candidates.
You're hooked on a drug called JPM, we've got evermore to go around, and because you're in a high stupor we can convince you of anything and take whatever we want from you.
(And we're going after your children even harder.)
Humble Transformation Back to Conscientious Mortal in This Section
(The Final Advice Part)
I have transformed back into the "conscientious marketer" I now am revealing the secrets of how the irresponsible mainstream marketers take extreme advantage of you -- and how to overcome it -- in every one of my "How We Get You" columns.
There are two giant shields you have against being jolted into submission by the big marketers: awareness and alternate experiences.
You don't have to avoid watching 24 (perhaps the highest jolts per minute show on TV today), you don't have to stop reading People Magazine, you can even keep enjoying those Super Bowl commercials. The key is to teach yourself to be keenly aware of how they are designed to lull you into that mindless and reactionary stupor ... the same way you may not avoid swimming in the ocean despite its many dangers but you do remain keenly aware of where you are in relation to the shore.
How to do this?
For several of your favorite movies, commercials, magazine articles, and other forms of marketing, analyze them. For instance, push yourself to consciously review a fifteen or twenty minute segment of a few TV shows, counting every jolt and considering how they are working the numbing magic on their audience.
As children are even more targeted and more vulnerable to being jolted, if you have kids or grandkids, analyze fifteen to twenty minutes of their favorite shows or a series of commercials with them. Count the jolts, have them call some out on their own, and discuss the possible impact of the jolts. This will teach them what is truly a crucial life skill these days -- and it will help polish your own awareness.
If you are rolling your eyes at learning how to be keenly aware of media in this manner:
Roll your eyes all you want, it still really works
At least utilize the other giant shield you have, alternate experiences. This means countering the numbing effect of high jolts per minute experiences with experiences that do prompt you (and your kids) to think and feel deeply such as the occasional literary novel, National Geographic Channel documentary, spiritual text, art exhibit, classical concert, canoe ride, or whatever in the wide and still truly rich world does prompt you to concentrate and contemplate. After perhaps a brief sobering up period -- the length depends on how many jolts per minute have invaded your bloodstream -- you'll find concentration and contemplation can be even more enjoyable than having your base senses rubbed.