by - February 18, 2014

I want: fish, Michael, George, Tom, Harry, Louis, Zayn, Liam and Niall.

A week or so ago I listened to this song by One Direction called I want. Before I type any further, I must confess that I'm not very familiar with the stuff they've produced. I stumbled upon this song through Tom Fletcher from McFly, who apparently wrote it (who knew?!). So if you're looking for an insightful blogpost about One Direction, than I'm sorry to say that you're at the wrong adress. However this doesn't declines me to give my thoughts on the song...

Allright, to be honest the song isn't a work of literature and can be easily overseen in a chart of best songs ever made. It's basically about this boy (or boys, because FACT One Direction excists of four British boys and one Irish guy) who's had enough of his whining girlfriend and wishes she was for ones gratefull with the blessings she has had. Now you could say that this is a representation of the western world wherein consumption has taken the lead over day to day life (YES! We can). We're triggered to always want more and encouraged to never be satisfied with what we have. There's always something you don't own. May this be in actual material or a state of mind that you're searching for. The poor want to be rich, the rich want to be richer and even the most wealthiest man on earth wants to have more. Because it's true, in a psychological way I guess, that there's always someone above you and that there's always something you can crave for. So for us people -meaning people who don't live in a bad situation, based upon the assumption that you're reading this by means of an internet connection- can the crave of wanting more be seen as the vision of a spoiled brat. We've been brought up with the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!", and that's what we're basically trying to do (hereby not blaming Pokémon for our consumption behaviour).

I don't think that this wanting or craving is necessarily a bad thing. It gives us a goal to improve ourselves and our environment. It's mainly a matter of wanting too much. As my mother has always told me "everything starting with too is bad". But if there's a nice correlation between owning and wanting, than it shouldn't dictate your living -meaning that it isn't bad to want something. I've noticed that the word "want" has a bit of a negative undertone. Because, as you can theorize, to want something means that you're not satisfied with what you have. This of course goes aganst the picture perfect principle, often symbolized by Hollywood with an average American household (husband, wife, son, daughter, dog and a freshly baked apple pie) instead of most realities (a spoiled brat lying on the floor in the supermarket having an emotional meltdown, because mother dear said no to something she really really wants). And if the American dream is a joke, how ought we to live our lives, knowing what to consume through the standards that are perfect in every possible way?

It's often a tradition to disguise the word "want" into the word "wish". Because wishing sounds more fairy tale like and friendlier as opposed to I WANT A CUP OF TEA AND I WANT IT NOW!!! And a wish can be seen as something that adds to your picture perfect life (nice to have, but not absolutely life-threatening necessary). While wanting can be synonymous for needing (I absolutely need this because without it my life won't be complete). And it's a magic trick by advertisers to attach this feeling of need to their products.

A product doesn't rely on their abilities anymore to mesmerize us. They are more often used as a representation of the lifestyle someone is living or wants to be living (which in itself is a generalization made by marketers). This ought to give you the feeling that you're buying the part you want to serve in society. You can become what you aspire to be by buying the right stuff and using the right things (in combination with the right way to walk, talk and breathe).

Naturally there's a seperation between stuff that gets to be used within particular segmentations in society. For instance some things are created with specialization like diapers (to mention something sexy) are mostly targeted to be used by babies and to be bought by parents with babies. However there's a range of difference (apparently) between one diaper and the other. This can be translated to the social class someone belongs to ("belongs to" being an exaggeration). You could say that the upper class buys diapers of gold, the middle class gets diapers of silver and the underclass obtain diapers made from brass. This of course isn't a fact, but through research one can say that the majority who can afford to spend a certain budget, buys a certain product. This all basically forms the lifestyle that gets to be slammed upon a certain kind of diaper instead of the other.

Although we can get upgraded by buying stuff out of our little constructed box -becoming what you aspire to be. We can, the advertisers say, be as succesfull as this really famous moviestar by drinking this certain kind of coffee (Yes, I'm talking about Clooney. Although the other day I saw one with Matt Damon. So you could also be Matt if you don't want to be Clooney... yay).

Making a full circle: One Direction gets to be promoted in a certain kind of way, trying to reach their preconceived target (based upon research - which isn't, I presume, a difficult task going by how loud one screams when shown a picture of them). They are a representation of a lifestyle that can be lived and gets to be spread under their admirers. This not meaning that every One Direction fan wants to be part of a mega famous boyband (because frankly they are mostly girls), but the lives they life, or the lives that gets to be showned to the media (hereby not the lives someone has secretely photographed on their mobile phone and leaks that not-so-image-approved picture to the media) are based upon a picture or image they want to eradiate.

Sometimes this manufactored image can clash with that what the artist wants to be. It's the well known story of almost every Disney-star who tried to break free from their fabricated image to turn it into another, more "groundbreaking" fabricated image... with less clothes and more tattoos. Oh how elaborating! Sorry, that's the pessimist within me talking. A manufacterd image isn't pre-eminently a bad thing. It's often a choice made by both parties. You can't force someone to not enjoy what they do, because it would show through the performance they are giving (as often debated with the case Michael Jackson v.s. Joe Jackson).

And on that note I will end this blogpost.


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