Fall is approaching - you can see it in all the advertisements for all the new television shows making their debut for the Fall Season, all starring a bunch of white people whom the East Coast-based media powers that control us all (well, most of us) believe you should be caring about.
While biking up Cahug-Na Ave on Tuesday afternoon, right on the corner of The Boulevard, the Militant happened on an entire south and west wall of a business, gaudily clad in ad-wrap (pictured right). The south wall carried the name of the TV show coming to the CW (the Militant won't be a mouthpiece for the networks, so find it out yourself) while the west wall was emblazoned with large photos of its Caucasian cast placed in the archways.
Similarly, a block south on Cahug-Na and Selma avenues was another south/west-facing advertisement for some new NBC shows with their own Anglo actors. This time it was a tarp stretched out on the second floor above Caffé, Etc.
Oh and BTW, no, the Militant didn't cause that little event on The Boulevard on Tuesday.
Now, Sunset Strip billboard ads are an institution. Ads can inform and entertain. Even buswrap ads have become part of the urban landscape. The Militant isn't against all ads. In fact, he'd love to see more on the subway -- it forms a contemporary motif that plays itself out in front of you and documents itself over time. Sure companies can and should get creative in promoting themselves, but, like all things, it can go too far. Water is good for you, but you can still drown in it.
Can't a building just be...a building?
Worse yet, the Daily News just did a story on parking stripe ads for a certain ABC show starring a bunch of white people (okay and one Latina...no, not that one, the other one). So yeah, when you're hauling your groceries into your minivan at Ralphs, you're reminded to to tune in every Sunday night.
Does it really work?
The Militant is sure that many people are now trained to just tune it all out. They see an ad and become apathetic to whatever is being sold. We also learn to tune out other annoyances, like dumping our junk mail straight to the blue bin (tip: anything in the mail with a return address from "Wilmington, DE" is junk mail. Even if you have friends and relatives there - into the blue bin it goes. Hey, better safe than sorry). Also, when our landline phone rings, 90% of the time it's a telemarketer. The Militant just picks up the receiver and hangs it up right away when his landline phone rings. A legitimate caller would make another attempt to call you back.
Of course, there are those who fall for such annoyances hook, line and sinker. Guess they make the world go 'round, eh?
Perhaps one day we'll be so steeped in ads ("Hey look, there's a dog food ad on my cuticle!") that the raw aerosol lines of a graffiti tag would be a welcome sight, relatively speaking...who knows.
Perhaps this is all just a part of that 21st Century malaise. But that's a topic for another day.