While the absurd juxtapositions produced by key-word driven advertising are hilarious precisely because they point out the shortcomings of soulless, automated systems, when the same absurdities are produced by decidedly human systems, one has to wonder at the breakdown of communication. We've posted before about the editorial oversight of the advertising placement in the LA Weekly, hoping that it might be deliberate and subversive. The latest example though reads like a Rushkoffian cliche of media commenting on itself, which would be wonderful if only it seemed self-conscious.
Here's an excerpt from Lina Lecaro's March 11 contribution to the Weekly's "A Considerable Town" right next to the ads that ran beside it in the hard copy of the paper:
"At the GenArt 2008 'New Garde' event Friday night, which kicked off L.A. Fashion Week, it was hard to ignore the evening’s sponsor — sort of the wrinkle-free elephant in the room. Amid the Art Deco splendor of the Park Plaza hotel, as dolled-up fashionistas fluttered about the visual feast of designer vignettes, young models danced under Botox-branded umbrellas that couldn’t have been more, uh, in your face. Botox’s less-than-subtle branding was everywhere, but its pitch was unexpected. The umbrellas were emblazoned with a motto touting the drug’s use as a cure for excessive sweating: “It keeps you dry.” Oh, yes, that’s what this looks-conscious crowd would use it for. Uh-huh. Nobody seemed to acknowledge the irony that GenArt, champion of the most creative and individualistic style makers in Los Angeles, has associated itself with a product that’s turned many of the city’s most intriguing faces into expressionless clones."
Is the unacknowledged irony of Botox's sponsorship of GenArt 2008 any more farcical than the Weekly pointing out the irony while not acknowledging its own sponsorship by the Botox vendors on the facing page (three of them on that page alone)? Tu quoque, Ms. Lecaro. We agree with you, but for the sake of credibility, the Weekly's editorial and ad departments should start reading each other's work.