Saturday, May 26, 2007
Climate change is so hot right now
I couldn't help noticing a certain advertisement plastered over almost every tram in Melbourne that exhibited a brand of vacuousness usually unseen even in the particularly vacuous world of advertising. The offending advert features various androgynous clothes-horses lounging around in designer rags casually enjoying a planet with a drastically increased sea level and temperature. The caption coyly states that its clothes are 'global warming ready'. Presumably the ad is designed to appeal to people whose greatest concern for the future of this planet is the continuing availability of 'fashionable' clothes - the kind of demographic who only know the term 'global warming' at all because they accidentally overheard it on a news break during Big Brother Up Late. Climate change is a serious issue, not just some buzz word to be regarded in the same vein as the latest sitcom catchphrase ('Anthropogenic increase in the earth's average temperature? What the?'). I'm not saying that we have to be deathly serious (I do have a sense of humour - how hilarious was that 'what the?' gag in the last sentence?) but I fear that this sort of media simplification reflects attitudes that already exist in a large section of society. It's as if it's enough to just know these catchy little soundbites without actually understanding the underlying premise that they represent. It's like that guy at work who thinks he's making a very political joke when he makes fun of John Howard for being bald. Delve a little deeper into the issue. Don't be the kind of mindless shemp who sees these media contrivances and assumes that they might be saying something meaningful when they are in fact just superficially cashing in on issues with real relevance.