Ideologies of Nature in Popular Culture

Advertisements are omnipresent and unparalleled in the multitude of products they advertise. Their purpose is to drive consumption of products. To this end, they have various strategies to create appeal for consumers. There is probably no vehicle more driven by its successful advertising campaign than the SUV – the quintessential American, and therefore capitalist, vehicle. It is heralded as the pinnacle vessel for individual freedom. The car in and of itself is already a quintessential component of american self-expression. It is a status symbol, a means of achieving autonomy and independence, to reduce reliance on other things. This is the image and ideologies associated with the car, regardless of individual reality. The SUV is hopelessly impractical, however the image of a hybrid city and rural car serves to establish it as the most versatile car for anyone to have. To this end, we see it marketed towards people who wish to observe nature as background scenery – perhaps as part of a day trip or small vacation ; for if they were permanent residents in nature, they would want a vehicle more geared towards meeting the actual needs within the environment around them. Nature as presented is through the lens of consumerist culture – as scenery, with no understanding of the actual substance of it. As such, SUV’s are inefficient day-to-day vehicle, driven by city people and suburbanites, who wish to have the ease of mind that their individual choice and freedom is as large, influential, and all-encompassing as it can be. It panders to the individual heroism perspective prevalent throughout society – that you are an individual agent of grant destiny, on an epic to fame, fortune, and happiness, all three of which are equated with one another. For if you do not partake in this choice, you are missing out on your right, your opportunity to success. You must seize all opportunity to maximize your gains. It is quintessential wanton consumerism, driven by fear-mongering of the implication of what will happen to you if you do not comply. No consideration must be made for the past, for your your epic must start today.


The song is “Las liegen” by the German Rapper Alligatoah, where he critiques excess and wanton consumerism without thought.

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