It's not news to anyone that we are bombarded by media images today. Many parents, in particular, believe they are at the mercy of the shallow messages of popular entertainment and advertising, and that as a result, their children are increasingly worshipping at the altar of consumerism.
While the decline of religion and many other factors have been blamed for this phenomenon, two interesting documentaries, last year's The Corporation (which arrives on DVD this month) and an older PBS special, Affluenza, argue that the deregulation of markets and rise of giant corporate conglomerates over the past 25 years (under both Republican and Democratic administrations) have also played a role in our current media bombardment.
Both are worth watching, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum. Personally, they've helped me to reassess what I do for a living, why and for whom. They've also made me reexamine some of my views on public policy issues. It's always good to take stock now and then.