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Perceptions and aspirations

Black Country at night edit

I am very aware of how people’s perceptions can be manipulated by words and images, but I still have more questions than answers. People aspire to be better and more than they are; this is why the human race is so successful. We are never content with our lot, we always want more. We are always searching for something, we are always on an adventure; even though we know it will all be for nothing in the end. The one certainty about life, is that no one gets out alive.

Today, I have given you images that give you a view of the Black Country that looks quite good, exciting even. If you look carefully you can see the Christmas tree. Advertisers use images to manipulate our perceptions and encourage us to believe what they want us to believe. The shops are full of Christmas images and those will be supplemented with the sounds of Christmas. Some supermarkets will even go as far as using the smells of Christmas, to tug on your emotions even more. Don’t be surprised to be influenced by the whiff of freshly baked mince pies as you do your shopping; the smells are almost subliminal.

You have a strong desire to do better, you aspire to a greater and better life. You want the Christmas tree, the decorations, the annual feast, the office party; you want it all. Well maybe not all, but you don’t want to be left out or called a Scrooge? Right? Besides all the advertising, we also have social pressure to do the same as everyone else and join in the competition to see who has the brightest Christmas lights or the biggest Christmas tree. We are competitive by nature.

We like to think that we are free. That we are free to say no to the commercialisation of Christmas. But are we? Who can resist all that pressure, all the family pressure, pressure from friends, all the advertising and the bombardment of the ‘Christmas  Message’ from all quarters. Everyone from the local church to Coca Cola with it’s ‘Happy Holidays’ message  jumps on the band wagon.

We are tribal by nature too, we do tend to follow the leader. The leader in this case is the media, drumming up business for the seasonal traders. Everything from turkey to mince pies will be traded with the spirit of Christmas coming more from a bottle than a Christmas message from the churches. It is a time for a tribal feast or three, with family, friends  and tribal members. We belong to many tribes, at work, at home, in the pub or the club. This panders to our basic need to feel secure, loved by family and liked by friends.

Do our aspirations and lack of contentment make us more vulnerable to the advertising? Do we chase the impossible dream? We can’t have it all. Can we? Do we often chase after too much instead of sitting back and feeling contented with what we have? Do greedy people chase the impossible dream?

How about direction? Can the advertisers steer us in the wrong direction. Are all the designer labels just for show? Do we need possessions that are more practical than just pretty? Men used to be quite practical and would prefer an electric drill for Christmas to a pair designer trainers. Are men losing their masculinity? Are women more vulnerable to advertising? Much of it is targeted on them. What are their aspirations? Is all the make-up and designer clothes to help them get a better job or a better husband?

What do you think? Please share your views in the comments box below. You can also subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter even…

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