Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wait for the Movie

You are a graffiti artist. The city is on to your tricks and sends crews out to clean up your artwork, almost by the next morning. Nearly all the walls in your city neighborhood have now been declared, by city ordinance, off-limits.

You wake up one morning, go out on the street and see a stunning new work of graffiti on one of the forbidden walls. Upon closer examination, you discover that it is an advertisement for Tylenol. Who did this and why did they get away with it? And does Tylenol think they can fool you this way?

Anne Elizabeth Moore's Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity is all about how marketing execs find new ways to sneak their messages into your world. Or, more specifically, into Moore's world. She belongs to the original punk movement. Over there in punk-world, they have vowed to live with integrity, free from the influence of corporations. Oh, but those clever people at Nike, Tylenol and Toyota--they have their ways!

This is a book that would make a riveting documentary. Or a week of documentaries, given all the material Moore covers in here. But it's a tough read, especially since, unlike the author, my integrity isn't all that offended.

May I, instead, recommend to you the park bench where I read one of Moore's chapters? It was in Cincinnati. It overlooked a deep bend in the Ohio River. Teenagers, day tourists and limping grandmothers came and went while I fought my way through Moore's indignant prose.

One man parked himself two benches away and studied, with his binoculars, everything from the sailboat masts upriver to the toy houses on the Kentucky side. Then four giggling girls approached him. Would he please be in a quick little video with them? They all lined up and did a choo-choo train dance while a mom recorded it. Then he returned to his seat, smiling, and said, "I haven't moved like that in years."

So, nice park. Just take a better book.

And it wouldn't hurt to bring along a couple of these:

Double Chip Cookies

1 comment:

  1. You gotta love a man willing to choo choo....I quite liked that glimpse into your bench scene