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Poisoned Cornucopia

Excess, Intemperance and Overabundance across Cultures and Literatures

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Edited By Ryszard Wolny and Stankomir Nicieja

This volume explores the notions of excess, intemperance and overabundance in cultures and literatures of both the English- and Chinese-speaking worlds. It concentrates on some aspects of literary and cultural meanings of excess(es) in various theories and practices of these antipodean territories of human experience and consciousnesses, bringing together what is common between them and what sets the West apart from the East: eroticism, drug abuse, alcoholism, urban concepts, music, food, etc. In times of a serious crisis of Western-style capitalism, growing consumerism and the collapse of traditional values, the eyes of the world are now turned to the East, seeking solutions in China, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong for what may come as Eastern-style neopostmodernism.
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Heavy on Firepower: American Media Complicity in Unrestrained Consumption

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← 300 | 301 → Daniel BroudyOkinawa Christian University

As consumption implies the recognition and acceptance of something desirable, this chapter examines current US military conceptions of freedom and prosperity appearing in commercial advertisements and their connections to popular understandings and acts of mass consumption. The title reference here to gross weight can, thus, be read in two ways: (1) military actions sometimes call for heavy firepower to be brought against an opposing force, and (2) mass media advertising, like military actions, often bombard their target audience to produce the desired effect – compliance to the efforts of the marketer. The key questions are how do corporate media serve military aims in packaging popular concepts of freedom and prosperity to make them appealing, acceptable, and fit for wider consumption?

Consumption has motivations rooted in our feelings about and perceptions not only of the things we consume, but of our thoughts about people, places, and ideologies, some of which can be irresistibly enticing to our tastes. My case for consumption with unrestrained excess begins with a preface to some simple universal truths. Momentum is both objectively observable and subjectively palpable. Physicists, for example, extrapolate momentum from the velocity of an object multiplied by its mass (p = mv).

Beyond mathematical formulae, momentum is also a force we strive to continue feeling when the sense takes us to higher places of exultation and delight. It is not surprising that in love and war, in work and sport, we speak of “riding...

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