Monday, July 21, 2008

[citation needed]

Today I saw a brilliant piece of culture jamming, that I think is possibly the most brilliant piece of anything I'd ever seen. I was walking into RMIT library in order to have a quiet read and as I headed up the escalator I saw a Sony poster of a big musical note and a tagline: 'hear more' and then someone smart or who knows someone smart had cut out a piece of paper and glued it onto the ad that read "[citation needed]" after the tagline.
And like Buddha sitting under the apple tree when he discovered gravity, the thoughts cascaded in a beautiful kaleidescope of understanding.
I never would have thought it possible that someone could so succinctly put together such a beautifully wrought piece of communication in so few words.
I can't capture as Jane's Addiction put it 'the beauty of this moment, a sensesation not unlike slapping yourself in the face' but I can try, it was several hours ago after all.
But first, I thought, 'Hey, that's right, the add is suggesting you can actually "hear more" by using any sony product and I would assume that that is a completely baseless, arbitrary claim.'
and then I thought 'and yet, just about any product or advertisement can make similar baseless claims'
and then getting emotional I thought 'and yet, if you want to claim something like "the health care system has problems" your expected to put together whole reams of watertight referenced evidence to support your assertion, when really your opinion of the experience in that situation is probably less subjective than your opinion that you can "hear more" with a particular brand of MP3 player/mobile phone/stereo system.'
And furthermore I also thought, 'these assertions cost us money, if they didn't they wouldn't actually advertise, as the whole point of advertising is to make sales'
and then it all sort of came together 'and wikipedia most of the time is just a way to inform yourself, it does very little harm, and probably a lot of good. And yet it demands that people cite their sources, back up the claims they make to ensure neutrality and wikipedia is criticised because it isn't a reliable source of information. It doesn't meet academic standards, yet advertising can go around making claims that you will 'feel the difference' or that 'the watch makes the man' or that 'diamonds are forever' infact someone should plaster [citation needed] all over myers window display where in what I must admit is brilliant marketing, (in fact if I had to choose a product that represents marketing it would be perfume) they have fashion pieces inspired by perfumes, that suggest that Chanel No.5 is some elegant ball gown and Christine Dior is a business suit.'
all this from a tiny bit of paper, in a matter of seconds two.
And further evidence that as soon as you lend your camera to your brother while he's on vacation, things you want to take photos of crop up all over the place.

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