Monday, June 25, 2012

Cities and advertising

The New York Times reports on cities raising money by selling advertising space on fire trucks, police cars, rescue helicopters, and school buses. And elsewhere:

KFC became a pioneer in this kind of unconventional ad placement earlier in the downturn, when it temporarily plastered its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants.
Life imitates David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: in the novel’s post-millennial world of Subsidized Time, the United States government makes up for lost revenue by offering corporate bidders the naming rights for years. Most of the novel takes place in the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment.

comments: 5

The Arthurian said...

Auto races and football stadiums are now named for corporations rather than cities... part of a massive economic shift that has gone unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the "lost revenue" phrase. When a government cannot collect all it needs, wants and desires, it is probably not the revenue which is lost, but the serfs. In the USSR this was that which brought them to collapse. The dark joke was that "I was working against my government by not working." As dear, delightful I. F. Stone wrote, "governments lie." So where was/is/will be all that lost revenue anyway? It's an interesting question.

Jazzbumpa said...

Anon -

Here in the U.S. the lost revenue is due to the lowest tax rates in almost a century on people with huge incomes and enormous wealth.

At the same time, national wealth has been squandered on long-lasting pointless and unjustifiable wars.

The Republican agenda is to undo the New Deal, the Progressive movement, the Constitution, and even the enlightenment on which it is based.

Funny you should mention serfs, since where we are headed is the new feudalism, where our masters are trans-national mega-corporations with no loyalty to anyone nor any thing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for half the story, Jazzbumpa. In the first two years of this administration, said "lost revenue" could have been collected from those you identify. After all there was that renown "super majority" in Congress in that time. It is lovely to create a partisan story line, but it seems both parties have their hands deep in the cash box, which makes me all the more certain of my choice of verbiage, "serf." A progressive agenda would actually have stopped the deficit spending, closed Gitmo, exited Afghanistan, not put 13,500 troops in Bahrain as just announced this last month, shot drones into Pakistan only in the last weeks, engaged in war acts in North Africa and so much more. The elements of storytelling are about word choices to convey the next twist in the plot. As to "enormous wealth," I am good to go in confiscating a large portion of billionaires' wealth as long as all partisan sides get gouged. It is a sad tale indeed in which some get a free pass for being somehow on one side of the storyteller's divide, but not for those on the other. Let's confiscate half of Adelsohn's and Soros' wealth for starters. I wager they will become part of the same political strategy in an instant. "Lost revenue" has a storytelling function, implying that someone "lost" the "revenue." Well, when that doesn't include both political parties, then it wasn't "lost" from 2008 to 2010, was it? And the wars continue, serfs are not being asked for their political opinion about it. After all, as Jazzbumpa's story continues, "our masters are trans-national mega-corporations with no loyalty to anyone or anything." And the current administration must therefore be part of these "masters." Or at least doing their bidding? Storytelling is about following the sense of the language. Serfs. Lost revenue. Masters. Gosh, why give this current crop of politicians a pass? It does not advance the story. Happily ever after. PS I love jazz!

Michael Leddy said...

The point of this post was that life imitates Infinite Jest, something that happens with alarming frequency. If you haven’t read the novel, you cannot imagine what lies behind the phrase “lost revenue” (Trust me.)