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Media Sexploitation - The Hidden Implants in America's Mass Media

2 reviews of this books:

This is Wilson Bryan Key's book Media Sexploitation - The Hidden Implants in America's Mass Media (1976) where he exposes how the media uses subliminal techniques to manipulate with our opinions and buying habits. Key was a professor of journalism which started his quest for exposure of these little known but extremely widely used and powerful media methods to influence us. Many people have heard of existence of subliminal messages embedded into pictures, movies and music but in this bookyou have a detailed analysis of those methods as presented in this fascinating book. The author dissect various pictures, scenes from TV ads and music lyrics to bring to surface some of the most intelligently hidden subliminals you'll ever see in your life. Read in amazement how the advertisment agencies will (ab)use every sexual taboo present in a society to attract our subconsciousness in order to make us buy the product being advertised. No psychological trick will be spared, even if it's incest, pedophilia, homosexuality or even necrophilia. Media sexploitation is one of those classic books which is sure to open your eyes as you'll finally see how we are constantly being "subed". Or is it "sexploitated"? In any case you are in for a shocking ride when you'll see how our wildest sexual fantasies are being embedded in just about everywhere inside various media presentations we encounter during our lives. 260 pages, many eye-opening pictures (all in the middle of the book).

Key's point is that the advertisers who fashion the consumer culture do not solely rely on messages that are geared for the consumers logical,conscious mind. The advertisers have a card up their sleeve-in the form of subliminal (AKA unconscious) material. Because information that can enter the unconscious cannot be defended against or be constructively criticized, it would be money in the bank for merchants to slip their product in there. Key's claim that there are embedded words and pictures in all print media can be tested by anyone willing to train their eyes to it. Besides his damming expose on this illegal procedure, Key does a great job in analyzing cultures taboos and fears and how the advertisers co-opt psychoanalysis for consumerism. Needles to say, if one does not believe in depth-psychlogy, this book will be more difficult to comprehend

Now my opinion: I read it and I guess its useful to use such dissections techniques on all kind of media, as its useful to extend our concept of media (I think Marshall McLuhan wrote many interesting new idea on medias). I think its wise to not take the whole book as a definitive truth too, its dated and misinterpretations were surely possible, but I guess its a nice reading on the way of consciousness
... one of the chief sources of cultural paranoia is the everwidening rift between the beliefs of a people and their actual behavior, and the tacit assumption among these same people that this practice�this contradiction between idealism and practice�is a normal state of affairs.
LIONEL RUBINOFF, The Pornography of Power


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