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Author Topic: Commodifying Dissent
Mohamad Khan
Babbler # 1752

posted 01 May 2003 12:28 AM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cool Commodities
There's no question that dissent has become cool, and nothing sells quite like "nonconformity." Billboards across the country encourage us to "think different" in a campaign that features none other than Mahatma Gandhi himself stitching his own clothes (khadi) in an explicitly anti-colonial, anti-capitalist gesture. Other icons selected for these Apple ads include Cesar Chavez, the farmworker organizer who led the struggle against capitalist forces in California's Central Valley, and civil rights heroine, Rosa Parks. Curiously, Jesse Jackson publicly complained that Parks is too 'sacred' to be included in fictional jabs in the film Barbershop, but apparently finds nothing sacrilegious about her image being used to sell neon-colored computers.

This past year, television viewers in California have been subjected to ads from the power company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) that cleverly reinterpret the 1960s radical folk song, "Power to the People, Right On!" The astonishing contradiction lies in the fact that PG&E was a significant player in and beneficiary of the 2001 electricity crisis whose burden was borne most heavily by California's working class. And, in November 2002, PG&E successfully campaigned against a San Francisco initiative that would have created a public power infrastructure as a local solution to the nightmare created by the privatization and deregulation of the electricity market. Sure, power to the people, right on!

From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 490

posted 01 May 2003 12:38 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nothing works like co-opting the message to cheapen it.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1402

posted 01 May 2003 12:45 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nothing works.
From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2956

posted 01 May 2003 01:48 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, well I came to the same conclusion when I saw CCR's "Fortunate Son" used to sell jeans, and the Clash's "London Calling" to sell Jaguars.

You grow up, and you calm down, and you're working for the clampdown.

From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged

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