Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance in Women's Magazines

I saw this today at the checkout of the local supermarket.

I am reminded of two things. One is that neither the words "cognitive" or "dissonance" are likely to appear in either of these publications. The other is Orwell's description of "Doublethink" from 1984:
"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."

What I find curious is the authority that both magazines make about their claim. Both make the claim that their source is a quote from Britney Spears herself. Thus, regardless of Britney's pregnant status, they are both lying. Personally, I think it's cruel to subject the poor girl to this Schrödinger-like uncertainty. Somebody collapse that girl's wave function!

Who weekly claims a regular circulation of 150,000 and is owned by the Seven Media Group through Pacific Magazines. NW Weekly (circulation ~200,000) is owned by Consolidated Media Holdings, a Packer entity associated with Channel 9. Thus, this boils down to a typical 7 vs 9 stoush. They should both be ashamed to so willingly lower the collective IQ of our society.

Why we can't put the people responsible for this tripe into pillories in Martin Place so we can chuck smelly things at them is one of the chief things wrong with the world.

1 comment:

Joel Baltaks said...

In my mind, the real crux of the matter is simply that people buy these magazines! Obviously any short fallings in the content are not enough to dissuade financial patronage by a significant population.