From great book blog Bookslut.com, an interview with author Anne Elizabeth Moore, former co-editor and associate publisher of Punk Planet and whose new book Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (New Press), is “specifically concerned with how big corporations have hijacked underground culture to sell products, and persuaded individuals who abhor the idea of ‘selling out’ to participate in selling out their own culture (and to do it for very little money).”
Moore presents her argument for writing the book in a way that presents her not as a hypocrite but as a realistic cultural critic–who is also an activist. The book itself is not a platform. She answers:
Unmarketable is a book, it’s not part of an engaged activist endeavor. It’s actually in many ways more of a document of previous, failed activist endeavors. I’m going on a book tour so I can talk to people throughout the country about the issues that are underlying the themes in the book, rather than trying to convince them to buy it from afar. So many things about contemporary media and the predominance of the internet make me feel like that one-on-one engagement has just gone by the wayside, and that it’s one of the more effective ways of getting people to rethink things that they assume are commonplace.
If you can’t read it the article (or the book, which I’m trying to get my hands on), read this excerpt:
I personally draw the line in a really different place than most people. And keep in mind, in the mid-nineties, I was totally about Jones Soda. That was the absolute identification with product that I needed in the world. And I was a total plaid skirt and ripped tank top-wearing girl, running around with my Doc Martens on, who was also simultaneously really, really angry that Urban Outfitters kept ripping off the awesome new way that I’d ripped my tank top. And so Jones Soda appeared to me to be a very, very personal product that I could actually relate to, in a way. But now, knowing that was a strategy, knowing I’d been tricked — and Urban Outfitters, for some reason, was doing the same things but wasn’t tricking me — that’s where I draw the line.
Key points of interview include her intelligent criticism of the tactics of Reverend Billy (who is mimicking corporate marketing techniques) and also her criticism of the the Gap’s Project RED (which she notes has “spent a million dollars in marketing money, but actually hasn’t really raised a ton for AIDS awareness in Africa, or whatever it’s supposedly promoting.”). Definitely provocative.
And she has put the word “Mocketing” into her book title. Props for that.