Commercialization of Nihilism: From Hippie to Hipster

As I read more and more about Nihilism I get more and more depressed because there are so many angles that you can write a research paper from regarding this general concept. Most of the articles I read about Nihilism all talk about religion, especially naming it as the postmodernist would define as the “Death of God.” In my research paper I tend to aim more on how Nihilism has affected us and the way we consume.blog post

As mentioned before, the postmodern point of view takes advantage of the vastness of nihilism and the “Death of God” allows for the creation of radical points of views and the desire to be different. I find it reasonable to say that there are different countercultures depending of the time period. Countercultures basically serve as a representation of what everyone is feeling towards situations happening in communities and society as whole, but people are too afraid to join them. Countercultures form from those moments where we stop and question everything in our surroundings and realize that it is all meaningless. We sadly live in a consumerist society and marketing geniuses find a way to market to the subconscious of all those who are convinced that they don’t believe in anything.

In the book The Conquest of Cool, by Thomas, the term revolutionary nihilism is used to describe the counterculture of the 60’s. In chapter 7 there is an analysis of the advertisement revolution that the counterculture pushed for. So in a way, the desire to rebel is not unique to a specific type of time, but nihilism is always the trend.

Brooke Gladstone and the RadioLab podcast in On the Media discuss a term; Pop Nihilism. Eugene Thacker, author of In the Dust of this Planet, defined it as “using the fact that I don’t believe in anything as the smoke screen for completely selfish activity.” I believe that Thacker gives us an idea of the marketing perspective and how they use nihilism and nihilists to create a market for these heretics. We can see this type of commercialization in TV shows, advertisements, news, fashion, music, and if we are being relevant to now, the content created in the World Wide Web. It all expresses negativity, apocalypses, depression, and recreate that moment of “aha, there is no point.”

In my research paper I would like to also connect nihilism nowadays and talk about who belongs to the counterculture of this time period, where media is a huge factor. Is it the hipsters, who claim to be different, but all have man buns? Or the people who fascinate over the idea on nothing, and that everything is meaningless because it is a cool trend to follow? Or people who know that the system is breaching our privacy, yet have avid Instagram accounts because they are out of Facebook?

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