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Language Arts: Mrs. Garcia
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Extra Credit Assignment: "Merchants of Cool"
After viewing the program online (see the link on the home page) complete the following:
Write a full one-page response to one of the following questions:
1. "The paradox of "cool hunting" is that it kills what it finds."
-Douglas Rushkoff

What are the implications of cool hunting for the development of new ideas, new music, new art forms, etc.? Provide specific examples in your answer.

2. "In much the same way that the British Empire tried to take over Africa and profit from its wealth, corporations look at [teens] like this massive empire they are colonizingäAnd their weapons are films, music, books, CDs, Internet access, clothing, amusement parks, sports teams."
-Robert McChesney

Are "cool hunters" and those who use the information they supply similar to colonial powers? Do they exploit teens or are they providing desired benefits and services? Provide specific examples in your answer.

3. "They don't call it "human" research or "people" research, they call it "market" research."
- Douglas Rushkoff

Did the marketers in "The Merchants of Cool" get it right? Do they really know you? If MTV was really based on understanding you as a person, what would it look like? Provide specific examples in your answer.

4. "The MTV machine doesn't listen to the young so it can make the young happieräThe MTV machine tunes in so it can figure out how to pitch what Viacom has to sell."
- Mark Crispin Miller

Are marketers concerned with the well-being of the consumer? Do they answer to consumers? If not, who do they answer to? Is marketing to teens different from marketing to adults? Provide specific examples in your answer.

5. "Quite simply, every company with a powerful brand is attempting to develop a relationship with consumers that resonates so completely with their sense of self that they will aspire, or at least consent, to be serfs under these feudal brandlords."
- Naomi Klein*

Has seeing "The Merchants of Cool" led you to think about how you express your identity? What questions do you have? Provide specific examples in your answer.

*This quote does not appear in the film, but is related to its content.