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Unformatted text preview: Jon Sabo Summary 6/11/07 In “On Sale at Old Navy: Cool Clothes for Identical Zombies!” Damien Cave argues that there is certain culture alive and well in our society that is turning is into thoughtless clones. Thomas Frank, a writer opposed to contemporary marketing techniques used by companies to sell their products, enters into a San Francisco Old Navy and is disgusted by what he sees. Frank is not alone in his conviction. Writer Naomi Klein believes stores like these increase the obsession for material possession. Klein argues that these stores encourage uniformity through deceptive displays. Shoppers are naturally oblivious to what’s happening to them as they line up to shop. But, not everyone out there is pessimistic and critical of their marketing techniques. Advocates for Old Navy and Ikea believe the stores sell products to customers at fair prices. Despite any benefit to the economy, Frank maintains that these stores are causing shoppers to become identical robots who waste their lives shopping. Material consumption becomes a method of creating a self, and shoppers are becoming too similar because they are pushed towards the same thing – whether by choice or accident. The addiction to brands began in America in the early twentieth century, and what we see today is a continuation of how it began. Stores are laid out in a way that promotes shopping, and their designs keep customers inside until all the merchandise has been seen. Merchandise may not be the right word to describe what these companies are promoting, though. Klein suggests, “You experience the identity of the brand and not the product” (Cave, 156). This image promoted by these companies comes at a price. People perceive such items to be of quality. Quality is not a word to describe the products. More often than not, they “fall apart” and must be replaced (Cave, 156). A vicious “cycle of work and spend” ensues from such lifestyles (Cave, 157). It strips our country of any real culture and replaces it with a culture of indulgence, according to Klein. On a positive note, some as pessimistic as Frank believes that this cycle can be broken, though it will be a tough accomplishment. as Frank believes that this cycle can be broken, though it will be a tough accomplishment....
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- Spring '08
- Brand, Thing, Naomi Klein, Old Navy