(And I must bring this entry to a screeching halt right now and mention that this calls to mind mirisa_ardruna's joke, which goes:
Q: How many kids with ADD does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: O HAY GUYS WANNA RIDE BIKES?
Good times, good times.)
The second and more insidious reason is that I don't have much of a coherent take on it. I really dislike how advertising has infiltrated so many levels of modern life, where it seems that every available surface, every passing snip of music or speech, is shilling for something. And ads are not only widespread, but more and more ads are starting to disguise themselves, to make-believe that they're not ads at all but something else. And I quote David Foster Wallace, discussing a purported essay from Frank Conroy that was used to shill for Celebrity Cruises: "An advertisement that pretends to be an essay is--at absolute best--like somebody who smiles at you only because he wants something from you. [Footnote:] This is why a really well-designed, well-done ad (of which there are a lot) can never attain the status of Art: It's never really for the person it's directed to."
(At least I think that's how that quotation goes. It's been a while since I've read it. If you're interested in tracking it down for yourselves, it's in the essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," which can be found in the book of the same name, or in the March 1996 issue of Harper's under the title "Shipping Out." David Foster Wallace might be a complete twat in other respects, but the guy does have a gift with words, I'll give him that much. He's kind of like Harlan Ellison that way.)
So, let me sum up. Ever-increasing pervasiveness of ads = Bad. Ads pretending they're something other than ads = BAD. (This is a shout-out to Paul Fussell, who makes a distinction between "bad" and "BAD" -- "bad" is just something that isn't good, while "BAD" is something that isn't good but pretends to be super-awesomely-great. Bread with sawdust in it = bad. Claiming that the bread with sawdust is better than the bread without sawdust = BAD.)
With this in mind, then, you'd be right to assume that I'd be calling for Turner Broadcasting's collective heads on platters, or agitating for the arrest of the ads' creators to get parlayed into a big legal take-down of Turner Broadcasting's ad department and thence the ad departments of every other big corporation. Or at the very least saying "Kein mitleid fur die mehrheit, fuckers."
Yet, I... am not. Don't get me wrong--I'm not claiming that Turner Broadcasting or the guys who came up with the ad campaign are some sort of postmodern heroes of free speech. They aren't. They were out to make a buck and shill for their movie. But I don't like the fact that the guys who made the ads got arrested, either. And... to be honest, I thought the ads were amusing. And these ads are for something I'd want to spend my money on in the first place. So, in short, I'm somewhat implicated in this too, in a way.
And so, I've spent the last couple days saying to myself "I hate ads, so why aren't I screaming against these ads which made life hell for a bunch of ordinary people like myself? How much of a hypocrite AM I, exactly?"
...I still haven't come up with a good answer yet.
Still... I find it verrrry interesting that this whole kerfuffle went down on the same day that Scooter Libby's own sworn testimony was directly contradicted by six separate witnesses. ...Say, has anyone heard anything more about that? Didn't think so.