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The French journalist Frédéric Martel in his book “Mainstream” presents to the contemporary world a new kind of war – the one from the cultural and recreational content. An extraordinary work of research that summarizes the power relations of economic globalization between countries “dominant and dominated”, which focus is the merchandise “culture and entertainment”.
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Is a fascinating book that opens wide the backstage of the powerful creative industries from Hollywood to Bollywood, from Japan to sub-Saharan Africa, from Al Jazeera in Qatar to giant televisa in Mexico. Makes interesting revelations about how the majestic cinemas from yesterday passed from drive-in to multiplex, from popcorn to Coke in United States, country that leads the culture “mainstream” – to please everyone, the dominant.
Martel treats, in almost half of the pages of his book, about the American strategies used to achieve mass culture. True marketing pitches without suppressing the sordid details of how the U.S. inserted in people’s minds the habit of watching a movie consuming popcorn and drinking Coke, even with the aggravating of stimulate thirst with products like Morton salt, “golden flavored butter”, to induce the consumption of soft drinks.
The impressive track of the Disney studio, that passed from a cramped independent venture to the greater international media conglomerate, dedicated to entertainment. The author tells the whole history and reveals that his transformer, Michel Eisner, drove Disney like a fairy tale in which pumpkins became options of purchase shares. This kind of genius of marketing only felt because he did not know how to manage creative egos, which are menacing when mistreated and prevented to exercise their artistic freedom.
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This way, the French journalist began his research from the heart of the dominant culture – North America – and went to the main capitals of entertainment, interviewing over 1,250 protagonists of these creative industries from China to Bollywood, in India, from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Mexico and in the conclusion, expresses his concern about this fascinating movement, which today receives reinforcement from internet and unabashedly talks about the arrogant position of Europe, antimainstream, about India as a giant Asian that draws the most attention and confesses his admiration for Brazil, “that of all the emerging countries, is one of the most passionate, by the number of people, the economy and position in history”.
Mainstream is a must reading for the twenty-first century men and especially young professionals from communication. If Marshall McLuhan was the “Pope of communication” in the past, Frédéric Marguel, who besides a journalist is doctorate in Sociology, broadcaster and teacher, is the new “guru” of the contemporary world in the study of “medium and the message.”
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His research is valuable in the sense of provoking a reflection on the indomitable economic interests in the cultural segment and the strength of the media. The people, the mass, these mere mortals are only puppets in this history. “New countries emerge with its media and mass entertainment. The internet multiplies its power by 10. You accelerates. In India, in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, fights for dominance of the web and for the victory in the battle of “soft power.” Everyone wants to control the words, images and dreams.”