Urbanist and historian Davarian L. Baldwin on the dynamics between urban universities and the communities outside their walls - but increasingly under their control, and his book In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities from Bold Type Books.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I avoid advertisements as much as possible. I’ve avoided them like the plague, which has been good practice for the plague. I’ve missed all the commercials my friends are in because of that avoidance. When I listen to podcasts I scrub past pitches for absolutely anything. But Hulu makes you sit through the ads. I mute them, but sometimes I’m not quick enough. Thus, many’s the time I’ve heard, “At so-and-so, we believe—” Every company pulls this crap at some point, no matter how non-sensical it is. “At White Claw, we believe –” there is no “at.” You’re a beverage. And you don’t believe in anything but making money. “At Clear Blue, we believe –” What do mean, “at Clear Blue?” You’re a stick women pee on to see if they’re pregnant! You’re not a place. There’s no brick-and-mortar house of pee sticks. And what can you possibly believe? “At pee stick we believe in the pH level of urine.” You believe in selling pee sticks. You don’t have any other beliefs, because you aren’t human, regardless of what the Supreme Court has said in the past. You are an agreement to peddle pee-activated color-changing material housed in plastic for the profit of your owners and part-owners. You are a legal construction designed to be a financial instrument. That’s all you’ll ever be. Give up your stupid dreams of being a real boy, Pinocchio, it’s not going to happen.
I’ve gone off before about advertising. Commercial advertising. How it’s a waste of education dollars. Because that’s what it is, bad, poisonous education. A commercial is a 15 to 60 second lesson on acquisitiveness and shallow values. It’s school for consumers, and most of it is either outright lies, id-tapping fantasies, or dramas meant to communicate insecurity. Sometimes I’ll catch a radio ad out of the corner of my ear, and something they say, some made-up statistic, reassures me about the future, then suddenly I’ll realize what’s happened, what I’ve bought into, and out of shame at being such a gullible sucker I want to stab myself in the brain.
The amount of money spent on advertising is hard to get a grip on. There are figures that represent ad purchases, but the limits of an... read more