My parents called me Saturday to tell me they?d just seen a car decal that reminded them of my frequent posts about public ridiculousness. Signs with typos, for example.  The decal they saw was as follows:

support ribbons5

 

Is nothing sacred? I have seen several of these ?support? ribbons recently. Gems like:

 

 support ribbons4 support ribbons3 support ribbons2

 

It is truly ridiculous. The worst part is that some of the things they “advertise” are worthy causes ? Autism Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, etc. Unfortunately, most of them are a joke.

 

I wonder if anyone could have foreseen the bastardization of the yellow ribbon. It?s sad, really. Something that once symbolized patriotism, loyalty and support ? is now something people use as a punch line. Honestly, we should see these things coming. Our culture is getting better and better at exploiting creative thinking. We are a society of catch-phrases and clich?s. Remember ?Got Milk??. This was award-winning brilliance ? a highly successful, long-running ad campaign. But leave it to Americans –we just can?t appreciate originality ? we MUST manipulate it. So now we have everything from ?Got Beer?? to

gotduncan

 

It?s sick, I tell you. Same deal with the Livestrong bracelets. Now this was a genius idea. Team up with Nike ? raise money for cancer research ? do wonders for the popularity of cycling ? become an integral part of pop culture?  Cue the knock-offs. Every color of the rainbow, reading anything from ?Go Hogs? to ?Class of 2007 Rulz?. The whole thing is eerily reminiscent of the WWJD? bracelet fad from the 90s.

 

We should do more to preserve creativity and innovation.  There are truly original thinkers out there being squeezed out by predictability and greed.

 

I?m sure someday in the not-too-distant future, the Society of People Who Decide Things will secretly declare an end to the ribbon car-magnet trend. They?ll put them in a drawer next to their Trapper Keepers and Doc Martens and replace them with? something else. I can?t wait.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday May 8, 2007

  1. This is a great post! I love a good rant! I was laughing through the first half of it. Deb walked up behind me as I had the “Support Farting” ribbon in full view. She said, “Oh really, Do ya?”

    I totally agree though. This ”copycat marketing” (I have a copyright on that term now) has been something that has bothered me for a while also. Bands have been using this technique to market themselves for years. The Grateful Dead had “STEAL YOUR FACE” shirts that imitated “THE NORTH FACE” logo. There were also shirts and bracelets floating around that said “WWJBD?” which stood for different things depending on what concert your were attending. It could be “What Would John Bell Do?” if you were at a Widespread Panic show, or it could be the ever popular “What Would James Brown Do?” I know I always ask myself that question before I do ANYTHING.

  2. True, good post…but I tend to support the opposite side! It can get excessive, I agree. But you have to allow for artistic expression, and to disallow a “support farting” ribbon would disallow every other subsequent parody, which could prevent some true gems from ever being magnetically adhered to our vehicles. I am thinking of printing up some “sterilize britney” magnetic ribbons myself.

    I learned in class a few weeks ago that advertising only gets limited free speech protection. Maybe they only get limited rights to their products as well. Either way, I support funny stuff. I don’t think “support farting” is funny; it’s actually quite tasteless. But I will laugh my ass off the next time I see a redneck with a “support farting” ribbon on his truck and a yuppie with a “support greyhound adoption” on her porsche. I find humor in juxtaposition. :)

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