Dorian Hargrove 8 p.m., Dec. 11
So many wonderful advertisements, so much weirdness, savings, and unintentional humor! We've got that Imperial spy bot from Hoth, this item of questionable legality, this thing for those who feel so guilty over snacking they must self-penalize, and even some things of utter worthlessness. On such a day, only an artistic use of MS Paint to highlight the flaws in your garbage will win you a Runner-Up spot.
In the end, I've got to side with my (no longer) secret love of outdoor peeing and go with this guy for the win:
It's great that the poster sees fit to give us a concise history of the Manneken Pis in order to lure potential buyers into a sense of connectedness with the item for sale. Otherwise, it's just an add for a plaster statue of a little dude taking an endless whizz.
It does make me want to go to Europe, however.
Here's the thing: I've never been to Europe. Geographically speaking, I've never been closer than three thousand miles, give or take, from Europe. Metaphorically, the closest I've ever been would have to be Montreal--which looks a wicked lot like any pictures I've ever seen of European streets and buildings. Cobblestones and copper-clad, Old World feeling apartment buildings. I used to live in Boston, where at least the houses are made of brick and stone, but despite the rumor that there's something "European" about Boston (perhaps explaining the hundred-bazillion tourists every summer) the fact of the matter is that the two-hundred-year-long tradition of "America Is NOT Europe" pretty much began in Boston and carries on to this day.
San Diego is extremely far, geographically and metaphorically, from Europe. Sure, there are vestigial traces of Spanish baroque architecture in the whole "Mission" theme of things, but that's where it begins and ends. Basically, having no idea what Europe is like, I instead draw inferences from pop cultural sources. All those hole-in-the wall bars in the UK that look like they've been there since the invention of beer seem to put Cheers to shame; not only does everybody know your name, but they knew your grandfather's name when he used to drink there. France looks like one big, gourmet, eat-until-you burst foodie paradise, and all the bikes I really truly love seem to come from Italy.
As I write this, I become exceedingly doubtful that this story has a point. If anything, there's a slightly cynical moral in there regarding how the average, American guy has a worldview informed by advertising.
There we go, that's actually it! Stumbled on it out of the blue. w00t!
My man, J.B. put it out there back in the '80s that communication was ALL starting to take the form of advertising--a theory I hear confirmed every time I listen to my roommate's glut of sitcoms on Hulu, wherein all communique happens in fifteen second sound bites designed to deliver maximum sensational effect. Most of the time, I think everything Baudrillard said about the birth of the trans-political/trans-aesthetic world is coming to pass. As we enter the hyper-realized world of advertising-as-social-discourse, maybe it's telling that I associate Europe with advertisements for that which is somehow "European." It's telling that I feel some sort of connectedness to a cultural collective--artificially homogenized within my mind--which is based on the static imagery of pop culture, all of which is delivered via the ways and means of consumer advertising.
Fifteen seconds of "MUST HAVE" at a time. That's the Europe I want to go to.
Methinks I shall go throw up a little now, self-disgusted by my own consumerist tendencies....