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Take Back the Culture!

Highlights a new group that is determined to put cultural decision-making back with the public. The contention that our culture is the result of the 'concentration of control of and by media'; Cultural Environment Movement (CEM) led by George Gerbner (former dean at University of Pennsylvania); Details; Contact point.

Perhaps it was the day 10-year-olds could name more brands of beer than U. S. presidents. But somewhere along the recent way, our culture has become so thoroughly manufactured by marketers that it is no longer able to give real sustenance to thousands of Americans.

Instead of growing up on homemade stories in which we learn about ourselves, we are fed mass-produced images that fit only a few, stigmatizing and marginalizing the rest. As if this weren't bad enough, we are subsidizing our own dehumanization because we are forced to pay the hidden promotional cost at the checkout counter.

Unfair! Taxation without representation, declares the Cultural Environment Movement (CEM), a group now forming that is determined to put cultural decision-making back where it belongs-- with the public. Led by George Gerbner, Ph.D., former dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communications, the group feels that this is leading to a great narrowing of cultural perspectives.

Most of us didn't have a hand in bringing about this state of affairs; it didn't arise spontaneously or by thoughtful deliberation. It is, rather, the result of the "concentration of control of and by media."

The point is, it is "a radical departure overriding significant public opposition."

But the fallout is just beginning to be realized: "The promotion of practices that drug, hurt, poison, and kill thousands every day; cults of violence that desensitize, terrorize, and brutalize; the growing siege mentality of our cities; the drift toward ecological suicide; the silent crumbling of our infrastructure..." You get the picture.

The CEM seeks to educate Americans about the media, thus opening it up to the democratic process--without fostering censorship.

It welcomes advice and support. Write: Cultural Environment Movement, P.O. Box 31847, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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