First, I want to say thanks to Barnes for suggesting I post something; he's always a good engaging guy both with his music and his mind.
I was hanging out a concert the other night and I ran into an old friend of mine. He used to perform with a band that had since split up, and ended up continuing his education at the New School in New York. We talked about what each other was doing for a little while, and it wasn't long before we got into talking about what he was working on--I don't know what to call it exactly, but I'll just say social theory, post-modernism, you get the point. Anyway, he brought up this documentary by a guy named Adam Curtis, who works with the BBC, called Century of The Self. I found it on the web, ordered it and got it in the mail a few days later. I watched the four hours and afterwords was pretty blown away by some of it's points of view, which went something like: ever since WWI, the maladministration of psychology has played an importantly understated and powerful role in changing consumers from an economy of need/essentials to an economy more located in the realms of desire/emotion; moreover, this misuse of psychology has been used more recently and insidiously in the political sphere as well. Not so overtly as in the past, but more along the lines of issues like V chips and so on. I thought is was a fantastic and broad examination of what the purchasing public views as paramount. Also I think I'll be heading to the library to check out some of the theorists mentioned. If I suggested you buy it, it would be too inconsistent, so If you can, rent it.