Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bashing Bush like a bongo

I flipped by the evening news last night watching the magix box with the moving people when my undeveloped senses were assaulted by a repulsive sight: Dubya trying to get down .

I'm forced to join this fellow and GAG.

Video here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sao Paulo Bans Billboards

Walking down the concrete canyons in Manhattan many a caveman is forced to grunt, spit and irreverently scratch at his jock as he is bombarded by incessant and derivative advertising from most all angles. Yes, the occasional Victoria Secret cleavage shot pleases his near-reptilian cerebellum, but at what cost? Sensory overload, and possibly even a seizure as his undeveloped but nonetheless jaded neurons fire volleys of cynicism at this strange world. However a proper, professional and cosmopolitan caveman realizes that this is one of the defining marks of the (post?) modern age and has resigned himself to it As such this news from one of my favorite places comes as an incredible and pleasant surprise:

SÃO PAULO: Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom. Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the "delete all" button and offer its residents unimpeded views of their surroundings.

In fact they went through with it as of this last January. Their justification was that advertisers had violated every code and regulatory attempt to manage billboards within the city. Down there (like anywhere) money talks, so it isn't hard to imagine the captains of commerce flouting the edicts and decrees of some scruffy city council. So the only solution was to get rid of all of the billboards, a truly neanderthalic response.The BBC's article mentions the race & class dimension of this in pointing out that Brazil's advertisers have been slow to reflect the emergence of non-white Brazilians into the consumer class, instead sticking to the tried and true blonde-and-eyes-blue formula in casting models. Instead of side-stepping and double-speaking about it as a US corporate stooge would instinctively do, one exec straight out said:
"Advertising exists to sell products. We don't have a social responsibility, we have a commercial responsibility," he says ... "It's my responsibility as an individual, but not my industry's. My industry's not made for that."
However there is one North American habit that the sararimen also resort to in the Orbis Tertius that is Latin America: playing the victim of 'political correctness'.
"It is not politically correct to talk about the million-plus posters and signs that small businesses and mechanics' shops have up all over the place, because they are poor," said Francesc Petit, a prominent advertising executive who has spoken out against the law. "It's easier to attack McDonald's and Coca-Cola and the banks, because that doesn't offend anybody."
So take note fellow cave-dwellers: the absence of representation for the poor and black Brazilians is of little import, however please release a grunt of sympathy for the oppressed and besieged corporations. To think, now they will have to come up with fresh new ways of getting the word out about their irresistible double quarteirão com queijo (with diet Coke on the side of course).

I doubt this ban will stand for long against the will of the monied, so I hope I make it out there before the mental detritus re-pollutes the city. Here are some pictures of the billboard post remains. Enjoy the unique sight while it lasts!