Friday, December 03, 2004

a "political public service message"

Salon Politics reports on "Our Leader" billboards in Florida. Leaving aside certain parallels, I was struck by another phrase on the billboard: "a political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel Outdoor."

Exactly what is a political public service message? Is this as in "it is in the public interest to support the current regime", with the corollary that it is NOT in the public interest to oppose the current regime? Public service messages generally advocate behaviors that the vast majority agrees with (at least in the abstract): "don't do drugs/alcohol/nicotine", "protect children from abuse", "stay in school", etc.. While there can be an element of political agenda, the most effective ones are apolitical. But they do all have one thing in common: they take a tone that says "we know better". They say our way is the right way, and its time to shape up and fly straight or suffer the consequences.

Hmm. I think we'll need to keep this attitude in mind in the coming years. We've already seen vast and varied attempts to somehow shame people into supporting the status quo regardless of their performance. Something tells me we ain't seen nothin' yet.