The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Retreat of the Day #2236

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Retreat of the Day #2236

For the past month or so, every ad space in the Bart station here was plastered with a single ad. New spaces were even claimed for it, plastered across the ground by the escalators, so that no matter where you looked on your way in or out, you would inevitably see it. It claimed, boldly, that Measure D – Berkeley’s new soda tax – was Not What It Seemed, and featured an image of an apple sliced open to reveal an orange inside. Whatever the picture was supposed to mean, the ad as a whole felt misleading, and in the corner was the (presumably legally required) text Sponsored by the American Beverage PAC.

These ads were everywhere – probably the most insistent political ad campaign I’ve ever seen. It must have cost the PAC a fortune to carry out. Seeing those every day, I wondered about the power of money to sway peoples’ opinions. The tax seemed like a good idea to me, and I hoped it would succeed despite the crush of ads fighting it.

Our election was yesterday, and 75% of Berkeley voted in favor of the bill, rendering all that advertising a waste. This morning the ads were all gone; the floors were clean, and long lines of blank frames looked out across the tracks on either side of the platform. It was a meek retreat, though somebody somewhere must be fuming.

San Francisco had a similar measure, and it failed to pass because it required a 2/3 majority, but most of the city voted in favor of it as well.

It’s nice to know, anyway, that people aren’t totally subject to the influence of millions of dollars in advertising. Money still doesn’t control everything in politics.

skull kid

Written by Umbrella Man

November 6, 2014 at 12:37 am

Posted in Miscellany

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