In “The Merchants of Cool,” the author investigates the rising fascination with teen pop culture. Teenagers are constantly vying for attention, causing them to imitate popular celebrities. Major corporations try to capitalize off this, showing productions and advertisements to influence them further. The era of family friendly programming has no longer any place in primetime television; shows such as Dawson’s Creek and Cruel Intentions have completely infiltrated the TV schedule to reflect teens’ all-consuming fascination with sexuality. One of the major networks responsible for influencing pop culture is MTV, telling kids what’s cool. On the flipside, the rise of rage metal is becoming popular, as the need to rebel appeals to teenagers. However, even these metal bands become mainstream…and soon, they are taken over by the corporate bosses. The cycle is never-ending.
This analysis of teen pop culture seems to cover all bases. Through the casual tone of Rushkoff, he develops a story-like quality in the program which engages its viewers. The program itself entertains as it informs- the material presented seems geared toward parents of teens, although teens would also find the program stimulating in that it is an in-depth study of their world. The information presented in the program lends itself more to a discovery- it provokes interest in the viewer because the topics can be seen everywhere in today’s culture. This film is particularly important in exposing the media’s influence over the way we think and act, which needs to be examined before America’s teens goes for a loop- in the wrong direction.
As a teenage girl, the word "cool" is crucial to my vocabulary. It is a universal code that lets us all know which trends and fads are in, like low-cut yellow washed jeans and silver hoop earrings. Where do these trends come from? How did they become "cool"?
The Frontline presentation of "The Merchants of Cool" by pop culture critic Douglas Rushkoff, goes behind...