yuen: conditioning


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8 Responses

  1. I agree totally. I’ve always pride myself as someone who is immune to all the consumerist propaganda around me, and yes, largely I’m very hostile to the whole thing but sometimes the facade would break into smithereens and showed me how vulnerable I am to marketing and manipulation.

    Early this year, I went and bought my first handphone, which is a cheap, secondhand first generation Nokia. I bought that since my girlfriend has been using the same model for the last five years and it’s still working fine, even when it’s dropped and slammed for so many times. But why did I chose 013 instead of 012 or 017 or 019 etc? Well, I remember watching an ad on TV for Xpax just the night before I went and bought the phone. Somehow that brief clip influenced my decision. And who knows how many times we’ve been manipulated that way all of our lives.

  2. Sue Anna Joe says:

    Influence can come in many forms. But of course the mass media, the television especially is the easiest way to slow sunconciously or conciously for that matter influence people. It is a form of passing information as well as entertainment is it not? Thus that is exactly what it is aiming for to influence people, and it has most definitely work.

    Of course, I could go into the pros and cons. But an issue most definitely that is WRONG is the depiction of beauty.

    Being an Asian, well Malaysian to be more specific the stress on having fair skin is simply ridiculous. How many times have you seen an ad where they use a brown or dark skin girl? Most of them if not all are mostly caucasians. I personally have a conflict with this, I have struggled so many times, not to care about having fairer skin, but seeing these repetitive adverts of fair ladies, who are just so Snow F****ing White, makes me begin to wonder, prolly I would look beautiful if not more beautiful if I had fairer skin. Then it stirkes me, WTF is wrong with me?

    I dare to say i’m quite confident about myself, and love the way I am, and I strongly believe it’s not how you look but how you bring yourself about. But I cannot lie, that these ‘LIES’ the media transmits, is eating me up slowly.

    I’m still struggling and trying to survive this ‘how-you-should-look’ ordeal. It’s hard to ignore, it’s hard to not give a damn. I’m human, and to be better is a natural human desire. And who doesn’t want to be beautiful? And media has blinded what actual beauty is.

    I prolly would find the true definition of beauty, when i’m old and wrinkled. Huhu, when there are more important things in life, prolly my own children and grandchildren. And that would most definitely be beautiful.

    Hope i’m not off topic. I always tend to do this. Haha.

    Much Love,

  3. rupert says:

    I am very aware of how deep does media seep into our daily lives. National TV station, most prominently the media prima group has been promoting their “brand” vey aggresively, with their Sure Heboh shites and now, their MyTV3 memberships. C’mon people! We hear before of memberships from school societies, volunteer bodies etc etc but club memberships with a TV stations? It’s OK la with watching TV but now you wanna feel it? Wanna meet with the newscasters? See Wahid recording his melodi shits? Senseless sial.. Tengok OK la, tapi takkan sampai fanatik sangat kat a certain TV station? But that is what our society has turned into. I know and sure that there are many eager beavers who wanted to be chosen for the chance to visit Sri Pentas..C’mon people…Whats next? TV worshipping?

    I agree with you anna, I especially HATE the Fair and Lovely ad, you know about the girl as the LRT ticket seller. It is so offensive, how could those bodies that deal with ad allows the ad to be screened? Lagii lagi kat Malaysia where we have multicoloured people. Fuck up! Hurt people’s feelings and self esteem just to sell their corrosive product. What’s wrong with being dark? I really hate the ad.

    People, this is senseless, people of the west wanna be tanned, dark la tu while people of the east wanna be fair. Why? It is just a stupid concept actually, but of course, stupid lagi orang yang hold on to it. It is just a concept to see and evaluate people’s wealth.

    In the west, if you are tanned (dark), it means that you are wealthy la, that you have club memberships at tropical resorts that enable you to do sunbathing etc etc, it means that you do not have to work. In the east, being dark means you are of a lower caste, of having to work under the hot sun, cuz it is only the daughters of the wealthy keturunan yang just sit at home and no need go out to work-that is why smooth and silky skin, tangan orang yang takyah kerja tu kononnya desirable. That’s why people, then it evolves until today’s state. Kita yang bodoh ni devote to those superficial ideas.

  4. Sue Anna Joe says:

    It’s really ironic. Speaking about adverts. Remember how chaotic the response was to the LRT advert about the guy ignoring the pregnant lady and blind man? And the issue they come up with was that how racial it was, especially against the Malays, giving them a bad impression.

    Man, that is just not the point of the advert. For once, the first time when I saw that advert, I was like, hey this is one REALLY GOOD advert, it’s real-hit-you-in-the-face or in other words iklan makan dalam. So instead they shoudl have used stick figures or something. I mean, if they used any other race, be it Chinese or Indian, e.t.c., the totally not related racial issue will be mentioned. So what’s the point really?
    The point is, they totally got the wrong point out of the advertisement.

    What should be considered offensive is the lies, and how the portray beauty. And this is a Malaysian country, caucasians take up a minor percentage of the citizens. So why are they massively used, if not almost in all beauty ads and not a true Malaysian. They want us to look all Mat Salleh like. I have NEVER seen an as where they used a slightly darker coloured skin girl, which I believe quite an amount of Malaysian women are like. Or am I worng?

    Well whatever it is. It sucks. And it’s funny that despite we know all these things, we still at the least bit do get influenced by these ideas. We have to constantly remind ourselves of these things, being human we can easily slip away. It’s tempting I tell ya. =]

  5. Zaxx says:

    “one eye devil aka television” = Tell-Lie-Vision

  6. Sue Anna Joe says:


    I think you misunderstood my point. I know the commercial was not at all a racial approach. It’s the issue that was brought up by that commercial. A hot topic where how racial it is, using a Malay, being a disgrace to the Malay.

    When, the whole point to the commercial is not about the race at all. It’s about behaviour/attitude/ etiquette. But the problem is, a whole different non-related issue was brought up. So what’s up with that? So there comes your point about Melayu yang ‘bersopan-santun’ idea.

    I personally love that commercial for the reality and truth it showed. Unfortunately, certain people felt it was wrong to use a Malay guy. It shouldn’t be any different if they used a Chinese or an Indian guy instead. But then I guess it’ll be the same, why use Chinese/Indian yada yada yada.

    So, that’s why I mentioned about how ironic their views are towards things, a truthful commercial, they come up with something negative, a commercial that is fake (beauty ads) they just shut up and enjoy it as it is. So uhmm. Huhu.

    Sorry, I’m never too good in making my points clear. I hope I made it clear. So basically I agree with everything you say. 😛


  7. Daniel says:

    For me there’s no doubt that conditioning works. It works very well. That’s why Pavlov’s dog is so cute, oh that dumb dog drooling happily when the bell rings eventhough the food is no longer there. That’s why the cost of marketing Star Wars III is almost equal to the production cost.

    The media is a powerful tool for making dreams and envisioning the ideal. You give media to the Commies and they’ll give you propaganda saying Mao is cool and Americans aren’t. You give media to the Corporations and what you get is all this advertisements. The beauty in capitalism is that we as ‘consumers’ are in power. I recently saw an ad to show that there is a glimmer of truth in this. Have you noticed there’s this shampoo advertisement going around targeting tudung women? It really blew my mind that this girl never revealed her hair the entire time. It struck me that perhaps if people really started to voiced their real needs and desires, corporations will really listen instead of giving us what they think we want? Or in the case of the internet, we can become the media and wrestle the realm of imagination and dreams from the big fellas.

    The bigger picture here is perhaps one of power and control. No matter how resistant you want to be to the media, there will still be other ways your life is conditioned. Be it parental, social, psychological, spiritual etc. It’s hard to be aware of all of them and understand how each works on you. The comfort is perhaps there is also such a thing as self-conditioning and that we, consciously or consciously, are influencing the things and people around us too. Like in that move ‘What the **** do we know?”, you know?

  8. rupert says:

    No matter its the Pavlovian dog or Skinner’s dove, the classical or operational conditioning, it is undeniable that conditioning works, very much the same way or slightly different on it it affect the humans as on the animals. Humans are concious beings, we KNOW how it works on us, most people do. It is because we are not firewalling our mind that makes it works against our will.

    I do not agree with Mr Daniel’s statement that people are given what they want…

    “…It struck me that perhaps if people really started to voiced their real needs and desires, corporations will really listen instead of giving us what they think we want?…”

    True, that the system of supply and demand plays a role in the economic where the supply will be fulfilling the demand, but there is also a constant push of new, “improved” product that we may not need, thus the ad is there, showing you the new handphone that “represents who you are”, a “distinctively bold” person or anew handphone that can be twisted 360 degrees or 720 degrees..who actually thought that people want those thing? We don’t. And we do not have a need to it. I want a phone to make call, which is what a phone is supposed to do. If i want to take pictures, I get meself a camera; a camera phone would never works as well as the real camera, and all those “compacted” sardine of features would only brings to the frequent malfunctionality and add to the fragility of the thing.

    But the ads tell you that the product is a must have..just like the PDAs, pens that could write on any surface, the gyrating mechanical massaging machines to “balas our parents budi”, ..we are lured by the things that we do not need. Thus, there are actually more actions to create new needs by the corporations than fullfilling the existing needs.

    The important thing is to know, that there are constantly influences around us that may manipulate us in some ways, by not only the media, but our peers as well, just like what Mr Daniel said, but staying aware of the alternatives and keeping our self informed and knowledgable is the only way of not to be manipulated to be influenced by the material pursuits or some nationalistic fascistic or patriotic ideas…

    Anybody watch the new “sports” campaign ad in the TV? Najib look good, very fit I must say, especially of his mannouver of chasing the ball, stole it from the opponent, and scored a goal. In movement restricting tracksuits and windbreakers! It certainly put our national football team to shame!

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