The Merchants Of Cool Analysis

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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,…show more content…
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 the scenes to reveal that "cool" does not spontaneously emerge from youth culture. "Cool" is meticulously researched and engineered. In fact, there is an invisible, interconnected web behind the creation of cool For example, MTV produces hip-hop concerts where popular rap artists perform for free because MTV will showcase videos that promote the artists' CDs. Meanwhile, large advertisements for Sprite, an MTV sponsor, are displayed in the background of the telecast concert. These interlocking, interpromoting companies have made a science of finding out what kids think is cool and then selling it back to us. They even pay anthropologist-investigators known as "cool hunters" to keep up with what the coolest kids are doing, and use that knowledge to design products. It is a perpetuating cycle, and we as teenagers are the instigators. We are involved in a symbiotic relationship with consumerism and media that shapes our opinions and influences our buying decisions--whether or not we are aware of that influence. Cool hunters seek us out for our opinions and then sell them right back to us. And we buy it without a thought about why. How do we fall into this trap? Watch "The Merchants of

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