Stay Free! | 20 February
carrie at stayfreemagazine.org
Mon Feb 19 20:06:21 EST 2001
howdy, here are some new items:
Stay Free "Ad creep" Video Clip
Here's a little video of Julie Caniglia and me, from a Canadian TV show
called Media Television. It's a brief tour of Manhattan ad creep.
Unfortunately, UNC's server is very sloooooow. If you have any problems,
kindly try back later.
Many thanks to Mark Sundeen for sending this poignant classified ad (for a
"mission style" building) that ran in his newspaper:
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NEW FROM THE LAST ISSUE OF THE MAGAZINE
(Subscribe and you'll get this stuff a year earlier:
"Grave Revisionism: Advertising Claims the Dead"
by Carrie McLaren & Jeff Hyslop
In the past couple of years, everyone from Einstein to Ghandi has been
given new life-selling products. No doubt many of the exhumed, having
acheived fame through the old-fashioned method of doing rather than
promoting, are rolling over in their graves. By the time Madison Avenue
gets through with them, we may have a tough time recognizing them. "Hm, was
Einstein the one who sold computers or french fries?"
"The trite objects of human efforts-possessions, outward success,
luxury-have always seemed to me contemptible."
(Apple Computers; Nikon cameras; Coca-Cola; an unnamed hair-loss product;
"Popular philosophy . . . is now molded by the writers of advertising copy,
whose one idea is to persuade everybody to be as extroverted and
uninhibitedly greedy as possible, since of course it is only the
possessive, the restless, the distracted, who spend money on the things
that advertisers want to sell."
MARTIN LUTHER KING
"The profit motive, when it is the basis of an economic system, encourages
a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more
concerned about making a living than making a life." (Coca-Cola, Coors;
Sears, Roebuck & Co.; AT&T; many others)
"Show me a capitalist and I'll show you a bloodsucker."
(X cigarettes; "X" clothing line)
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
"For me, commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character,
the aspiration of man, these are sacred."
(American General Corp.)
"In culture, capitalism has given all that it had to give and all that
remains of it is the foretaste of a bad-smelling corpse; in art, its
(Che Beer; Swatch watch)
"Money doesn't matter, it never did. Money is just another trap . . . It
makes you sexy and intelligent and talented in a flash, poof! And it's a
(Apple Computer; One2One)
"What is a man if he is not a thief who openly charges as much as he can
for the goods he sells?"
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
"Trade curses everything it handles; and though you trade in messages from
Heaven, the whole curse of trade attaches to the business."
(This one's an honorable mention: not his image, but his name and a quote
were used by Jeep)
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Since advertisers like dead people so much, here's a list of people you
SHOULD use in commercials. Unlike the folks on the previous page, these
guys would have loved to pitch products. -- Carrie McLaren
JOSEPH McCARTHY (1908-1957) Joseph McCarthy did the advertising industry a
huge favor, however inadvertently, by igniting the 1950s Communist
witchhunt that purged Hollywood of talent. Those who lost their jobs were
welcomed to Madison Avenue, where--unlike films or movies--their work
appeared anonymously. Adding to his natural business appeal, McCarthy
attacked public housing as a Communist plot. Although it will be noted that
McCarthy was paunchy, pasty, and balding, he did lure viewers to TV
EDWARD BERNAYS (1891-1995) The godfather of corporate PR found his calling
with Damaged Goods, a play about the dangers of venereal disease. Bernays
was the nephew of Sigmund Freud and, like his uncle, probed the depths of
the human psyche. Bernays, however, saw his mission as uplifting the
moronic majority (on behalf of corporate sponsors) and this perspective
colored everything he did, from promoting mass persuasion techniques to
affectionately nicknaming his house servant "Dumb Jack."
H.H. HOLMES (1861-1896) Nineteenth-century psychopath Holmes amassed a
fortune through insurance fraud and drugstore management. He then bought a
hundred-room mansion equipped with gas chambers, trap doors, acid vats,
lime pits, fake walls, and secret entrances. During the 1893 World's Fair
he rented rooms to visitors, who, after being forced to sign over their
savings, were tortured, gassed, dismembered, skinned, and thrown down an
elevator shaft (not necessarily in that order). As one of the first
American serial killers, Holmes would assuredly have loved the media
attention an endorsement deal could offer.
FRANCIS GALTON (1822-1911) A leading intellectual of his day, Galton helped
pioneer modern statistics. He is, however, less known for his creative math
(including a statistical test of the efficacy of prayer) than his devotion
to eugenics, his method of genetically improving humans through science.
Galton advocated the regulation of marriage and family size according to
the hereditary of parents. Although support for eugenics began to wane in
the U.S. in the 1930s, some of Galton's ideas became a real hit in Germany.
ERNEST BORGNINE (1917-?) Although Ernest Borgnine is not yet dead, he did
star in BASEketball.
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STAY FREE-RELATED EVENTS
Friday, Feb. 23
Culture Jamming one-day conference @ NYU
Speakers: Carrie from Stay Free!, Reverend Billy, Billionaires for Bush or
Gore, Green Maps, Dyke Action, and more
International Forum on Globalization
Sat. & Sun., Feb. 24 & 25
Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue New York City
Stay Free! will have a table during the conference. (I'm not speaking, though)
Thurs, March 3: University of Delaware
"Ad Creep and the Fight for Urban Space"
Carrie McLaren, 12:15 pm, Graham Hall 187
More information about the Stayfree