In the USA, the political left survives not on the wages of raw fear and liquid capital but on a pleasant wealth of public imagination that must be constantly updated to reflect changing political and economic circumstances. It is a mild sort of collective futurism with very murky outlines that propels everything from political art to individual vocation to government legislation.
The well-respected, finically solvent and totally fun-to-chill-with advertising agency Droga 5 created these outdoor ads for the Coca-Cola Company, which recently appeared on the streets of New York City. They have a poetic quality, seeming to evoke certain characters and a unique Manhattan headspace. Longer than most written ads, and with an obvious, weighted subtext, they speak in a slippery psedo-literary voice.
The book cover of a product is its image. Also its comments section and its Facebook page. All but deleted.
There are the tired images of materiel pleasures we no longer desire.
They are like older actresses, or Twentieth Century genre fiction gone out of fashion. They are Tom Clancy and Leon Uris.
I am a big proponent of electronic and online publishing but there is a permanence to a physical book or magazine that cannot be denied. This is not to say that physical books cannot disappear. They can and do, but it takes time and effort or neglect. When something is published online, it only takes one click of the mouse to remove it. That work might remain in Google’s cache for a while but eventually, it will disappear entirely, like the words were never there.
Whenever a new literary magazine debuts I am intrigued because it means there’s one more group of people in the world who support words, writing and writers. I have found Electric Literature particularly interesting because they actually pay (and quite well) their writers. They have a slick, aggressive advertising campaign with ads like this and this and others suggesting that their magazine offers “reading that is bad for you.” I’m not sure what that means. The writing in the first issue didn’t feel dangerous.
In effort to increase unique daily visitors (and I’m not talking about in-call escort services), HTML GIANT will be employing tactics used by the following masters of marketing. It is our hope to usurp these kings of literature/publishing.
[To do list]: Become vegan, get ‘severely depressed,’ attract ‘emotionally traumatized’ ‘females’ to make t-shirts and short ‘films,’ strive towards a ‘detached yet ultimately life-affirming’ philosophy, decrease pain and suffering, change font to ‘helvetica.’
[To do list]: Use exclamation points to convey enthusiasm! Sometimes three!!! And fragmented sentences. Like this. Use quirky/informal language to describe institutional matters: “we really like the internet, we even use our server as a lunch table, and we spilled fanta on it.”
[To do list]: Help shape Malcolm Gladwell’s fro, send writers to France or the Middle East, advertise Prada and Chevron on the back cover, incinerate slush-pile daily, publish anal instead of annal, insert subscription postcards every other page.
[To do list]: Google ourselves every day hoping to be mentioned on some blog.