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  | Asymmetry | Writing | Advertising |




I hate advertising, and I try to pay as little attention to it as possible, but sometimes it's unavoidable. The particular ad I'm addressing is one I pass every day, for it hangs in the window of the watch shop a few doors down from the building I work in. It consists of the silhouette of a (presumeably) beautiful woman and the simple phrase, "Maybe she thinks you can't afford it."

Is this what six thousand years of civilization has brought us to?

I think the thing that really bothers me about it is that it brings home the fact that yes, even in these determinedly post-Marxist days, there really is such a thing as class, and that ad is for people I'd get a crick in my neck looking at. I can say that I have never, once, in my entire life, bought something with the thought overtly in mind that the amount of money I had spent would impress someone. Not unless you want to count my college education, at least, and since that's usually mentioned with a wince I don't think it's quite the same thing.

"Maybe she thinks you can't afford it."

Every day I also walk past a dozen panhandlers, homeless people, and Spare Change sellers in Harvard Square. People who'd have to lie on their backs on the sidewalk to see the people that ad is aimed at—at which point they'd probably be arrested for blocking the sidewalk, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

Sometimes I feel like an alien on my own planet. I hope the people of my home world don't wear wrist watches at all.

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson