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july 24, 2007 (0064us)
In Bordeaux, France, close to the courthouse, you could a short while ago have seen, on the wall of an old apartment building, a monumental portrait of Montesquieu underlined with a quotation  by this important person about prejudices as wanton assumptions and roots of all error. By some irony of chance, advertising, which is one of the major vehicles of prejudice ever devised by man, has covered Montesquieu's portrait with a huge advertising poster telling people they are in for "a very special location at hand to live a new art of life."
an ad concealing MontesquieuThat dream apartment building to come may have its uses, but if it is of use, why advertise it? The question had led me to ponder advertising, not only real estate advertising, but advertising for everything everywhere, that substitutes the tempting for the useful, because in this the problem lies, in the hyperbole. People free from worries and shame find themselves laden with worries and shame, when they are over-indebted for something that they out of prejudice, into which hyperbolic advertising leads, had thought could have transfigured their lives.
I know that, if non-essentials and luxuries were suddenly taken off the market, 50% to 75%  of industry, and of employment therefore, would be wiped out straightaway. That's the big snag of our current type of economy, which only spiritual life will make up for through a natural change of logic and natural transfer of values and desires. Meanwhile, is it wrong to find faults with advertising?

The overall goods which ads prompt people to buy are beyond their means. Otherwise ads would not be necessary. Disproportion between the global amount of supply and the global amount of the means makes temptation break up, get pulverized into millions of buying particles, which makes us forget about disproportion but does not make it disappear. Ads only address the poor, because the wealthy are way too scarce to account for enormous advertising budgets, and the wealthy know whatever they want simply because they can get it.

Not only are ads hyperbolic, but they are numberless. As a real estate special offer ad had erased the portrait of Montesquieu, or intelligence, I focused my attention on advertising as a whole for a few days. Ad(vertising) is swarming, so it is bound to cloud myriad minds. You think that you have long stopped descrying it, but it is there, numberless spots and marks, each in its frame, its poster, its rolling ads display, let alone its yellow page, its web page. It is there like a jewel in its box, like a pretty model or a handsome athlete in his or her tight-fitting underwear, telling you that it is you that he or she has thought of night and day, it is you that he or she has been waiting for. The great advances made in color printing and photography make those temptations virtually touchable, so that the people that covet them might be virtual rapists. The poor buyer takes leave of his senses. Suddenly overcome with senseless self-confidence, he will get into debt, or even steal…The consecutive instability and disappointment make men suffer much more than you can imagine.
We Arès Pilgrims have a lot to do to make men conscious that real beauty (Rev of Ares 12/3) is not that which ad praises.

copyright 2007
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