Product placement

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Besides rumours of corporate bosses gently joking that the looting only served to reinforce the popularity of their particular brands, there were other incidents proving the inescapable all-consuming infiltration of consumer culture. Many national newspapers carried the iconic image of a masked, tracksuited looter casually strolling across a road filled with smoke from a burning vehicle, clutching a can of Special Brew. Have Carlsberg commented on their product being inextricably linked to alcohol-fuelled rampages? Would it harm their sales to be viewed as a tool for social disorder rather than escape from any semblance of sobriety? Would picturing a masked assailant torching your local corner shop rather than a comically inebriated and dishevelled tramp shuffling by influence your decision on which super strength lager to purchase? If Carlsberg did riots, would they be considered the best riots in the world?

What about RIM? Are they satisfied to see their Blackberry blamed for allowing bad people (as well as presumably good people and neutral people) to contact each other for illicit and destructive rendez-vous’? Of course social networking sites, so lauded for allowing protestors involved in the ‘Arab Spring’, are now demonised for allowing people with less ‘democratic’ motives to organise violence and pillaging. The ‘Prime Minister’ spews empty threats about ‘shutting down’ social networking sites, presumably because it appeals to the quick-fix-gratification society thirty years of rabid right-wing Murdoch-led media has built, although Cameron must have some brass balls to break three Tory cornerstones at once.

Tough on crime? Cutting police budgets apparently won’t affect frontline police numbers, presumably because the administration and paperwork will now be done by refugees sleeping on the Met Office floor and paid in one meal a day. Maybe privatising could make them more efficient?

Big on civil liberties? Removing all access to social networking sites constitutes removing the freedom of the entire populace because a small minority abuse it. I thought Neo-Liberals were all about less State intrusion, not more. But maybe Cameron is right. After all, there was no social disorder before Facebook.

Do not interfere with big business in any way? Well Facebook is the most potent advertising space any UK company could hope to utilise, and it will be hitting them, and their advertisers in the pocket. This is why I’m certain these threats will prove to be empty. Big business takes precedence over health, community and morality all the time.

Another interesting giveaway to the mindset of our irrational and knee-jerk society comes when we hear the familiar refrain of ‘Get a job!’, where once it was ‘Get a career.’ Have we given up all hope of these people making anything of themselves, even after serving their time? Are we happy to use ‘our taxes’ to punish them forever?

As welcome as it may have been to hear the Government will do everything in its power to lock up the offenders, rehouse the homeless and reimburse the uninsured business owners, one can’t help but feel that, yet again, quick-fix ‘hang-em-high’ soundbites will replace intelligent, detailed debate and admittance of State and media culpability in this despicable mess, and thus we will face the same issues in another decade, when every High Street may be made up of not much more then Tescos, Starbucks, Primarks and the few other corporate chains that could afford 24 hour private security.


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