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This article belongs to BUSINESS MONTH: Advertising theme.


Unless we are being completely deceived by everything in the Wall Street Journal, the US and other world markets are teetering on the edge of a chasm of unknown depth. Allusions are made to the "great depression" but in retrospect even that catastrophic moment in America's rise to King of the Capitalists, might pale in comparison. How did we ever get into this mess? Who is to blame?

A consumer society is fueled by the world of advertising. In the 21st Century, we are assaulted with a barrage of ad's from our cell phones, to every inch of space our face comes into contact with. Entertainment has long sold out to corporate interests and even Reality Shows are nothing more than blatant endorsements of fashion wear, cosmetic products and lifestyle (often expensive and beyond most peoples means) choices.

In the micro world of budding communities, advertising is an ancient practice. The snake oil salesman promising renewed hair growth, invigorated urethra flow and endowed vitality has been modernized and placed on the digital broadband. Thick unwieldy massive Sunday issues of newspapers are being replaced with thinner, less supplements, anorexic versions of their former selves. I always felt that every newspaper should carry the heading "killing the forests one issue at a time"—and, by all accounts, the spotted owl has come home to roost.

Advertising is a desperate attempt to divert business to your product, be it a store, monkey bait or an electronic cigarette. While free enterprise is a wonderful thing, the majority of things people are selling-whether a soul-sucking exploitative website, a brand new yogurt shop, or a banana flavored condom (monkey bait?)—are not needed by our society, world or universe.

It is a jarring experience, as an American to drive a group of Serbians, Bulgarians, Croations, Macedonians and others (as I do once a week) to the local Safeway for food. First-time participants are awed by the prolific amount of choices one encounters just at the cereal aisle. But after a few months, the attitude becomes somewhat jaded—"All the vegetables taste like they've been scrubbed with chlorine." "The high prices are gouging." "In my country we don't have the selection, but everything is organic."

We are in the midst of tumble. Colors are flashing by our heads at a dizzying rate. Decades of sloganeering dance in our ears—better, new and improved, the one to end all—sounding hollow and without meaning. When did the hucksters, charlatans and carrion corporations become our guiding stick to better days? Now is not the time to waste your money on newspaper and website ads, best to buy loads of water and dried goods for your underground bunker.

If you're still committed to getting the word out about your service, my advice is to green, or as everyone else doing, give the impression of going green. Let people know that you're decreasing your carbon footprint and increasing your oxygen output. Hire pregnant women to distribute your 100% hemp flyers. And most importantly, start a non-profit and then donate all your proceeds to it.

This is DNA on the frontline of the Western World letting you know that all is not well.


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