Thursday, February 01, 2007

Take Your Crap Marketing And Shove It

1) The correct response of emergency services to an unknown unaccountable object in a public space, especially near critical infrastructure, is to assume it is an explosive, and send out the full bomb response. This is true in London, Rotterdam, Madrid, Algiers, Dublin, Paris, and Tokyo. It seems many in the US are not on board with what has been reality in the modern world since unexploded WWII ordinance and disaffected 60s German bomb-wielding hippies started showing up, but then again, this is the country that had to learn the hard way that allowing knives on airplanes was just ludicrous. Alas, after they learned this lesson the security services in that area of public life went completely overboard, and I bet they will in public life as well if the US has to learn the hard way the lesson about unattended unaccounted-for objects meriting a bomb-squad response every time. These objects merit this response, even if the first thousand of them end up harmless when they look harmless, because looking stupid one thousand times is far outweighed by the benefit of having had an adequate response when the object was not harmless notmatter what it looked like.

Then again, I suspect the way things end up working in the US is that the homeless are the first response squad for unidentified objects like bags and suitcases left in public places. Which is gonna hurt some people, but nobody the US in general deems important.

2) If you leave three-dimensional crap around, as in boxes, installations, bags, bulk of any kind, you are going to trigger rule 1. Failure to account for that, or finding it ridiculous because your crap is of course benign and/or has some socially redeeming value and/or you got away with it in other places, makes you look incredibly dumb to anyone who has actually not been numbed to the international situation in at least the last 50 years. Well, ok, 'dumb' may be a bit harsh, we could also allow 'suffering under the common delusion of American Exceptionalism: "Crap happens everywhere else in the world, not in the US because God Loves Us, so I have nothing to worry about"' See that issue of allowing knives on planes again.

However, whether failing to account for this rule (that leaving wired bulky gleamy obscure crap around will trigger rule 1) means you are dumb or deluded, said failure does mean you do not really understand the current culture of Emergency Responses you are in. In other words, if rule 1 caught you by surprise, you certainly lost all cred for being a 'Culture Jammer' or some other edgy moniker of social enlightment. You're basically the real-life equivalent of a script-kiddie in a hacker world who is trolling irc for scripts to hax0r (lol) a MySpace account of a n00b you hate who goes to your High School. If you're gonna do shit as outlined in rule 1, just be ready to deal with it, ok? Don't get caught with your pants down and having to explain the person paying your paycheck why their name is being dragged through mud and bills are being sent to their corporate HQ. Or even worse, not have counsel and bail lined-up when the executors of rule 1 come knocking.

3) 'Guerilla Marketeers', 'Viral Marketeers, 'Web 2.0 Social Artists', whatever you want to call them, are the saddest sack of sell-outs you have ever seen. They take all the tools created for communication, for making people think, for bringing us together, for creating the unexpected, and use it to become a billboard while claiming to be cooler than being a billboard. Well, maybe if you think 'deceptive' is cool, they are, but still, consider what the actual goal is: selling. Whether it is sending models to bars to use your latest phones, giving crap to bloggers, tagging penguins on sidewalks, repeated slapping ugly posters on every empty space you see, or doing something to trigger rule 1 (even if inadvertently, but that just means you fall under rule 2), you're just another corporate shill, ok? There's no glory in it, especially not when it is done for the product carefully crafted to appeal to the market segment that needs to think of itself as 'edgy' by an enormous corproate behemoth. Especially if said edgy product is actually not that edgy, but just unknown and mediocre. 'Guerilla marketers' are basically artists who sold out but think using their same tools and not wearing a tie somehow makes them different from a Madison Avenue hack who comes up with jingles for Air freshner. Except the hack actually does get to have a cool appartment in Manhattan, and the Guerilla Marketer is still stuck in Allston, if he's lucky to have sold out enough.

4) The way to disguise a bomb in the US is by making it look like a mechanical corporate expression people will now be too embarrassed to report. This, I have been informed in the entry about this in 's journal, has already been discussed in 1997 at the federal government level. The public at large outside of Boston calling Boston wuzzes for reacting along rule 1, is happily reinforcing this rule. Don't forget to thank them.