For and Against

Just to clarify my position, here are things I’m not against at all:

  • beer
  • Alpine-brand beer
  • jazz
  • musicians
  • musicians getting paid
  • fun
  • people having fun
  • people having fun listening to musicians
  • closing city streets so that people can have fun
  • tourism
  • tourists
  • earning money from tourists drinking beer

What I am against, however — and what I was trying to speak against here — is the use of public streets as giant billboards for commercial advertising.

As a taxpayer, I’ve paid for a share of those streets. They are a public space. And in a world where we are bombarded with commercial images at every turn, I would like my public spaces to remain an oasis of solitude from messages to buy beer, soap and toothpaste.

I don’t believe any corporation should be able to buy its way into inflating a giant advertisement — be it beer can, condom or combine harvester — at the main intersection of the city, even if that company generously sponsors something which is, in many other ways, a public good.


steve's picture
steve on July 10, 2005 - 05:58 Permalink

In our current economic system, most of the the things that you’re not against simply could not exist without some form of inflatable beer can to support them…

Alan's picture
Alan on July 10, 2005 - 13:59 Permalink

No only that — most of the things you are not against are themselves “an inflatable beer” can in that they are economic activities. For examples, there is a lot of quiet resentment around tourists themselves clogging roads in PEI, too, but that is the marketplace which puts bread on the table there. Would it be fair to say, then, that it is the particular ugliness of that display as opposed to the commerciality that is really the problem? We recently had an event in our civic space which was fun and commerical and also closed the main street but which had attractive activities:…

Lou Quillio's picture
Lou Quillio on July 11, 2005 - 04:12 Permalink

Welcome to North America. Enjoy your stay. It will not be made to resemble Europe’s understated quarters any time soon. Dream of something else.


Ken Williams's picture
Ken Williams on July 11, 2005 - 04:25 Permalink

Inflatable cans not selling canned beer yet signifying beer. Duffman can’t afford to make a special giant bottle balloon just for PEI market.
Or it’s part of a canpaign.

Lou Quillio's picture
Lou Quillio on July 11, 2005 - 04:29 Permalink

… unless you dream that corporations weren’t considered on par with individuals (sovereigns) and weren’t able to represent as discrete, disembodied market actors. That’s still worth dreaming.


R.T.'s picture
R.T. on July 11, 2005 - 15:26 Permalink

I understand what you’re saying and agree completely. For me, the whole thing begs the question: Where do you draw the line? If Murphy’s Restaurants gets a permit to close Queen Street for their own monetary gain, is the next year’s festival going to close the Hillsborough Bridge for Irving Mainway Oilfest? What can a citizen expect of his/her public spaces? At what price point are public spaces rented out? Where does this money go? Are there any policies/rules about what public space can get occupied and when? Who decides? How? And as always, what are the benefits and who is benefitting?

Alan's picture
Alan on July 11, 2005 - 16:40 Permalink

If you do not know the answers to those questions and your city hall which administers such things cannot provide them, that would seem to me to be a bigger problem than an inflatable beer can.

pippy's picture
pippy on July 12, 2005 - 07:56 Permalink

ummmmmm…. yeah your blog makes you sound like a bum on the street ie. the street is my oasis. who peddles money from the tourists in the summer, while drinking beer and having fun/ whoa it sounds like you like to have alot of fun buddy. and when is the last time you saw a billboard advertising toothpaste and soap? or even a giant inflatable condom? and by the way, buddy in this day and age the only way to get away from advertising is to go to the woods and beome a hermit. Advertising is here to stay so get used to it.It is the main revenue of any product these days.And who cares if a company sponsors something for the good if the community, its not like you must buy that product being advertised.If you dont like it go complain to your local mp. it sounds like you dont have much of a life and when you do get out your so shell shocked from being inside you get slammed with the advertising you do see.Maybe you need to socialize more hmmmm?

DIPPY's picture
DIPPY on July 12, 2005 - 20:20 Permalink

Advertising is here to stay so get used to it.”

Crashes like thunder from the enlightened above to the myopic below! Thanks for elevating the debate there Pippy, uh, buddy.