The Future Ain't What It Used to Be

Iconoculture, Author, Vickie Abrahamson, Author, Mary Meehan, Author
Iconoculture, Author, Vickie Abrahamson, Author, Mary Meehan, Author Riverhead Hardcover $27.5 (320p) ISBN 978-1-57322-080-4
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Collectively, the authors go by the name of Iconoculture, which says a lot about how they think. They are self-consciously cool and trendy. Much of what they say makes sense, though it's often hard to get beyond the intrusively ""now"" way they say it. Their pitch is addressed to present and future business owners; their goal is to identify trends and areas that entrepreneurs should keep in mind for success. Ten chapters cover what Iconoculture labels America's passion points: mind, body, spirit, experience, identity, society, nature, relationships, fear and technology. Within these topics are the 40 cultural trends of the subtitle, among them the disappearance of the middle class and the battle against the biology of aging. Scattered throughout the text are ""iconogasms""--marketing mantras that are vaguely hip and hiply vague: ""Bolster consumers' cultural sea legs by building feelings of stability, balance, and connectedness into products and communications."" That the folks of Iconoculture urge businesspeople to build ""feelings"" of stability rather than stability itself ultimately says it all. The design, like the content, is postmodernism gone mad: text runs over the illustrations, and the whole product is set up to look as much like a Web page as a book. (Jan.)
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