Post-Modern Times-or-Welcome to the Hollywood Dream Factory

Planet Hollywood-or-The Global Village and the Visual Culture Industries 

In the 1936 film "Modern Times" the then iconic Hollywood "Tramp" (Charley Chaplin) tries to survive in the industrialized and de-humanized world driven by the factory machines of industrial society. Ironically the film itself is part of the "silver screen" "culture industry" paradigm of visual culture.  The subsequent globalization of the "marketplace of ideas" via mass media and the "information industries" has led to a homogenization of visual culture that is shown to us filtered through the "post-modern" lens of what the media expert Marshall McLuhan called "the medium is the message". This global electronic world of information, has created the visual culture of the "global village". 

In the "post-modern times" we live in, the marketplace of our nightly dreams are psychologically shaped and influenced by what has been termed "The Hollywood dream factory". This dream factory is a global conglomerate network of corporate industries, culture industries, government institutions, and mass media corporations. All of which, ever increasingly psychologically influence and shape our life styles, our dreams, and our "mind's eye" by the "mind making industry". The Hollywood dream factory provides those living in the global village with "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (read dream interpretation). 

While the Hollywood dream factory is not a "monolithic organization" of "mind control" like the Nazis whose totalitarian use of media created the "Third Reich of Dreams" (read dream interpretation), they are never-the-less a relatively small number of governments and their bureaucracies, CEO's and their corporations and individuals that "run the show". They are the so-called "shakers and movers", who we can find in "Global Fortune 500" and in "Who's Who". 

In order to provide a "synoptic" view of the post-modern workings of dream vision and what has been called the "Consciousness Industry", I have divided the dreams and their interpretations (below) into five "dream factory divisions". This will help simplify and provide insight for you the reader as to how the Western psychodynamic process and psychological organization of the dream factory as a whole works and operates together to socially influence our nightly dreams, mind-body and consciousness. 

  1. "Small World", looks at the sociological aspects of the post-modern "visual culture" which circulates in the "global village". Our global visual culture is screened nightly in our collective dream vision theatre. One of the many recurring "dream reels", we can watch is the "rerun" of "Groundhog Day in the Global Village".
  2. "Brave New World", explains the "technology", "marketing", "advertising" and "consumer" effects of mass media and the "culture industries" on our dreams. The post-modern "dream of escape" films include; 1984, The Matrix, Inception and George Lucas student film "Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB". Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death", provides the media ecological critical background.
  3. "The American Reel World", provides insight into the "American Moveable Feast" and the post-modern "phantasmagoria" of dream vision. The film "Network" and the animated TV series "The Simpsons" provide a satirical vision of the American family, culture and media influences. The film noir side of the American nightmare is embodied in the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".
  4. "The Reel World of Visual Culture" is best described by simply pointing to the post-modern satirical reality reel "The Truman Show".
  5. "Dark Side of the Dream Vision World" is given a sublime psychopathic vision and a voice in the film labeled satire, horror, and black comedy, aka "American Psycho".


Small World of Dream Vision -or- That's Entertainment in Global Village 

Today we live on a planet with 7+ billion human inhabitants. Technological advances via computers and the Internet in the 20th century has provided a post-modern vehicle to travel into the hyperreality of dream vision. Dream vision allows us to view the psychological manifold of the "human condition" on the planet. The film, "That's Entertainment! " is a compilation film celebrating MGM's 50th anniversary. The International Institute for Dream Research uses a similar "mise en scene" montage to bring to the silver screen, the dream visions of those famous, infamous and everyday people living in the global village. Screening these dreams provides insight into the fact that we live in a "Small World". All too often, dreams speak about those who are "egocentrically" caught in the bad karma of a Möbius strip like dream vision of "Groundhog Day". 

Brave New World -or- Welcome to the Post-modern Machine

Marshall McLuhan in "Understanding Media" grasped the reach of the American film and mass media influence across the globe. The Hollywood dream factory transforms into science fiction technological amusement theme parks in such films as "Westworld", "Futureworld", "Jurasic Park". In any event, "Welcome to the Machine". 

The American Reel World -or- Post-modern Amerikana 

Bob Fosse's film "All That Jazz", talks about the phantasmagoria of the Americana dream and visual culture which promises; "We take you everywhere but get you nowhere." 

The Reel World of Visual Culture -or- Post-modern Pictures in the Head 

We live in a technological epoch, where media story cycles are completed in surreal "reel time". It could be argued that our cognitive-behavioual "reel world" of our visual culture resembles Stanley Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange". 

The Dark Side of the Dream Vision World -or- Masks of Sanity in the Global Village 

The dark side of visual culture features the schizotypal psychological dimension of mask wearing, and those whose "masks of sanity" come unglued. From a medical humanities perspective, what is desperately needed is "Health Care Reform in the Global Village". 

Further Reading:

Stuart Ewen, "Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of Consumer Culture"

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.