Oct 122011

Advertising landscapes

By Dave Cooper

I am standing on New Circle Road, and this is what I see: flags everywhere.

One flag says “90 Day Refills.”  The next one reads “One Hour Photo.” Then “Drive Through Pharmacy.”  In the next block, a matching pair of flags shouts out the message “SONIC.” Just past the flags is a large sign that says “Salvation Army Thrift Store.” Across the street another announces “Brothers Auto Sales.”

Looking up and down the road: “Swifty – Pay Cash and Save,” “Burgers 99 Shakes,” Check Advance, Golden Corral, Advance Auto Parts, Beds To Go, Bryan Station Inn, “We Buy Gold,” “Buy Sell Trade Anything of Value,” Quality Auto Sales, “We Buy Anything,” “GOLD,” “For Sale,” Kroger, Firestone, Marathon, Demovellan.com, “Now Hiring,” Frito-Lay Sun Chips, “Welcome UK Credit Union Members,” Fed Ex, “Financing Available,” “Free Carfax Report,” “Big G Express Trucking.” On the corner is my favorite: “S&M Pawn Shop – Where Courtesy is a Must.”

It’s enough to make you sick, all of this visual junk.  Most outdoor advertising is done as garishly as possible, using big, thick block letters to bash us over the heads with thick, blockheaded messages.  Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Something’s happening here

By Michael Benton

The question that must be asked is whether we are witnessing the birth of a new social movement in America. As I am writing this article Occupy Wall Street is starting Day 25 and it is spreading on a national and global scale. There are now Occupations and Meetups in 1359 cities operating in solidarity with the protesters in New York City. (You can find lists of current Occupations across the globe at http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether.) Occupy Lexington was the third city to organize an Occupation when a few protesters gathered on September 29 at noon in front of the Downtown JP Morgan Chase Bank plaza.

I first heard about the plans for the occupation of Wall Street from Adbusters’ editor and writer Micah White in July of 2011. Soon afterward, I saw the ads of a ballerina doing a pirouette on top of the iconic Wall Street bull statue appearing in the magazine’s September 2011 “Post-Anarchism” issue and in various announcements from activist groups.

Courtesy Adbusters. Visit them at http://www.adbusters.org/

The ad that kickstarted a movement. Courtesy Adbusters.

Slowly people started discussing the possibilities of the occupation through emails, in person, and on forums. Continue reading »