Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The thrill of control

Lileks this morning on a familiar and disgusting iteration of Communist Chic: The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library – a group presumably formed to combat the work of their tireless foes, the Enemies of the Minneapolis Public Library – has a new ad campaign out to hype next year’s opening of the new downtown library. One side of the poster has a big picture of Mao; beneath him, it says, well, MAO. On the other side, a picture of the new library, with the letters MPL, for Minneapolis Public Library. From the Skyway News article on the campaign: “What’s the connection? China sports the world’s third largest economy, while the library claims the nation’s third largest collection of books (per capita.) “It’s a stretch, and a little weird, but it made us look, and that’s the point.” Hmm. I’m curious: how many people do you have to kill, and how many books do you have to destroy, before you’re no longer a benign historical image to be used in a “clever” ad campaign? I'm similarly bothered - idiot student communists with Ché t-shirts, and the like, aside - by the number of people who seem to think it's clever to name a cat "Chairman Meow." Is the lame pun really worth the tacit acceptance and continued normalization of a dictator and murderer? Would you name a pet parrot Ceauşescu, or a goldfish Honecker? Some people are so attached to irony, they can't see the forest for the trees.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Brian Tiemann said...

Well, of course, there's the possibility that it's like that story of the old Jewish lady who named her dog Hitler; when asked why she'd do such a thing, she said, "I just liked the idea of ordering Hitler around for a change."

4/26/2005 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

I think some people mistake irony for an elevated perspective, a sort of refined level of emotive consciousness - when it's really just a brief and rather sophomoric pathway between emotive psychological sets. If they detain themselves there in the IRONIC moment too long, savoring the *deliciousness* of it, they're inclined to get fat-headed, and lost wandering in the museum of their self-fascination.

4/26/2005 07:58:00 PM  

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