ads without products

in two parts (me, not the post): journal of my personal dialectic

with 2 comments

On the one hand, a wonder advertisement (is this the right word? I don’t really understand in what sort of context this would actually be aired…) from the Scottish Socialist Party (via Ken MacLeod’s site).

It’s just a hunch on my part, and who the hell asked me, but if I were running the coordinated campaigns for the US democratic party for 2008, I’d think long and hard about the virtues of this advertisement: the reasonableness of it, the simple quant. aspect, and, above all else, the sense that government might provide something at once simple and effective and fundamentally transformative to the everyday lives of a majority of the populace. I have a sense that the time is ripe to step away from the eternal jousting field just below the city on a hill and propose ideas that might make everyone’s lives a little bit better. Of course, of course, end the Iraq War – but what we’d really like to talk about are trains and housing complexes and elementary schools and the like.

Christ knows they won’t follow my advice. If they did, and won, and lived up to their promises, I might even stop vomiting to the roof of my mouth every time I am forced to remember where it is that I am doomed to live, likely forever.

But, on the other hand, I took Kino Fist’s recommendation and, um, acquired for myself Chris Marker’s remarkable Grin Without a Cat. Which makes me feel like a complicit statist pig, ready for nothing less than the wall and a bullet, for occupying myself with thoughts of choo-choo trains and well designed terminals instead of, say, forming an avant-gardist guerilla band and fighting socialism into existence.

Ah well. Not really cut out to be an insurgent, I don’t think, despite the fact that I spent my entire pre-pubescence wrapped in camo, hiding in the woods with a plastic rifle. But the thing is, I was always on the side of the bad guys, the guys with lots of air support. The VC were toujours l’autre. And if I ever lacked air support, it was because I was playing out this scenario

I guess I’ll stick with the trains, but I promise to feel terrible about it as I do.

Written by adswithoutproducts

April 23, 2007 at 1:42 am

Posted in ads, america, socialism

2 Responses

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  1. Interesting comments on the broadcast.

    It was actually aired. It’s a party election broadcast for the forthcoming elections to the Scottish Parliament. Parties get five-minute slots of free air time, in some proportion to how many candidates they’re standing, etc. The parties come up with and pay for the content themselves.

    In the UK political parties and campaigns aren’t allowed to buy TV advertising, as far as I know (though they can and do buy other forms of advertising: billboards, newspaper ads, etc). Between elections the parties get a small amount of air time for party political broadcasts, which for most people provide a convenient break to put the kettle on.

    Ken MacLeod

    April 23, 2007 at 5:37 am

  2. Thanks for the further info, Ken. That is, obviously, not at all how it works here in the US, of course.


    April 23, 2007 at 10:12 pm

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