Last week we looked into the role of culture jamming, and its implications within anti-capitalist ideology. For me, I have always considered culture jamming as Harold presents, and the slightly more radical detournement as Debord explains, as an overall positive active force within our social networks. The heavy ties of capitalism have in the past relied on a passive viewer, and for me, this movement towards action is one way to escape that passivity. More and more people become aware of some of the more subtle practices of capitalism through both radical and simple attempts at culture jamming.
However, as I began to look further into the world of culture jamming, I noticed that there is a large target on the fast food industries, and in turn on overweight and obese individuals. The United States has been a global target for fast food related capitalism, and growing rates of childhood obesity. From this, a larger focus of culture jammers like Adbusters, has been on the growing weight and health of the nation.
The above spoofs, although meant to bring light to the reality of the content of most fast foods also put a fair amount of responsibility on to consumers regarding their food choices. In these situations the goal is to scare the consumer into healthier choices. Yet, at the same time these images neglect many of the social and political implications that surround the fast food industry. Fast food is a staple for many low income families who are more concerned with having something to eat, than eating healthy. Instead of acknowledging this reality, these examples of culture jamming only work to over look them.
Even more offensive (the above) is the use of an individual who is overweight to get a message across that very well could be unrelated. Body weight is far more complex than simply eating fast food or not. In this sense, I think that culture jamming is at times guilty of over simplify the issues surround capitalism, and at the same time shaming individuals who participate. Culture jamming plays an important role, but those who engage in this practice have to be aware of the multiple dimensional networks that surround each issue.