This sort of thing is getting more and more popular. There was a
similar thing for the Christian bus sides in response to the atheist
campaign. A couple of weeks back people started defacing the David
Cameron posters online
There is an election brewing in Chile.
I am not 100% on when it is going to be, probably in the next couple
of weeks, but if my review of election advertising is anything to go
by, a bloke called Pinera is going to romp home into the presidency.
This is even despite the fact one of his ever present posters fell
off a lamp post and brained some poor passing girl. The Carabinieri
were taking notes and looking good in their shades as we passed by
and the girl held a hanky to her bleeding head. The way the
communications are handled out there is completely at odds with how
we would do it at home so it has been really interesting to tour the
country while this is going on.
There are five main candidates as far
as I can tell
Arrate – at least 80 and looks every
day of it. Possibly a communist.
Frei – he's got a good logo. Looks a
bit evil. Kisses babies. Expect he will come second
Pinera – just like the Samurai who
can tell the arrow will hit before the bow string leaves his hand,
Pinera has won and he knows it.
An early middle age guy who is trying
to grow a beard. I think I may have actually walked past him in
Santiago. He had a minder and was wearing shades. 5% of the vote max.
Some young bloke just out of school by
the looks of things (only saw him on the last day), maybe going for
the tween vote. Lustrous hair just like a boyband.
The whole thing seems almost entirely personality based. Every
single ad is a variation on a head and shoulders shot of the
candidate, their logo and possibly also their campaign slogan, which
is invariably something terribly general like “together a better
society” or "national renewal". However for the most part they don't even bother with
that, and I'm sure it's not because they have a particularly moody
art director on the project.
So there are posters of people's faces
up everywhere and names painted up on the walls all over the town and countryside. I suspect it is something to do with building
familiarity as without a clear two party system, I imagine elections
are based around lots of different people you have never heard of. If
you can be the name most familiar to people as the enter the polling
booth you are likely to get an 'x'.
I couldn't quite work out if there were
a lot of celebrity endorsements going on, at least they looked like
they could be celebrities. One of them, who seemed to be everywhere
it turned out was the reigning president, who is legally barred from
standing again, as 4 years is now the maximum term. She seemed to be
supporting everyone who was standing as deputy.
Very strange. Also, there must be a
really confusing mix of party affiliations, Pinera in particular has
got his mug up with all sorts of different candidates. I wonder if it
is the political version of Intel advertising where he pays for part
of the ads as long as his face can go up there. Pinera clearly
spending a fortune which more than anything else suggests to me that
he's going to win. I guess with politics more than anything you end
up in a virtuous or vicious circle: people think you're going to win,
so you get more funding, so you run more ads and do more promotions,
so people think you're going to win...
I just checked, the election is on the
13th December. I will post an update with the final
In some parts of the Atacama desert it has not rained for at least 400 years. Someone told me it is the driest place on earth and given how much the inside of my nose was itching the whole time we were there I have no reason to disagree with them. However, just outside the village of Toconao, about 50km from San Pedro de Atacama is one of the most curious things I have ever witnessed – an incredibly fertile valley maybe 60m across, bounded on each side by incredibly steep walls of pressed sand.
The reason for this is that they are blessed in that place by a small stream that flows out of the Andes down into the plain below. This stream of course never meets the sea, it is used in full by the people who live there. Interestingly the Atacama desert was not always so dry, when the land was first colonised about 12000 years ago the area was significantly wetter than it is now and since then the population have had to employ increasingly ingenious methods to cope with the drier and drier conditions.
The stream is maybe 1.5m across and is extensively canalized as it comes down through the valley. Small stone and clay channels snake off from the valley floor to the most amazing gardens of peach, grapes, chirimoya (custard apples), pomegranates and oranges as well as a whole load of indigenous plants I forget. There was one tree that was apparently growing something akin to alfalfa which they use to make some local moonshine.
Critically, no-one owns the water that flows down the valley. Instead there are a series of rules that determine who has access to it, for how long and when. A series of sluice gates control the flow of the water and it is a criminal offence to touch them if you are not an official from the local government – water monitors I guess.
Each person receives a share of the water flowing down according to the size of the garden they own, at an appointed day and time. If there is a drought, everyone's share is commensurately less. Taking water at a time not allocated to you will earn you a trip to see the popinjay Caribinieri, which I imagine you would not want.
I read it once as a young man, and have been thinking about it ever since, as it is apposite to the idea that the world is going to hell in a handcart. Ironic that they were thinking this in Ancient Greece nearly 2500 years ago.
This is what I called 'the myth of decline' - people as they get older tend to think that everything is getting worse. The truth of it is that the only change is in them - they are getting weaker, their minds are slowing and they begin to fear the world a little more. Also, I suspect there is an element that they did not change the world to the form that their youthful enthusiasm had.
It is from a really very good presentation on youth marketing from someone at BBH. See below
Noney is a new currency, with each note being a hand-drawn, hand-printed and hand-signed piece of art. Each note can also be traded for things. Like all money, Noney is for people to circulate. The result is a combination of performance, public art and printmaking. Obadiah Eelcut draws prints and issues Noney.
This is one of the craziest things I have heard for a long time.
£15 a month Shoreditch TV offers the chance to plug in to 400
surveillance cameras in the neighbourhood. If you see someone who you
think is dodgy, you can send an anonymous message to the police, thanks
to a wireless keyboard supplied with the subscription. The first 3
months are free. "Combat crime from your couch" - www.digitalbridge.org.uk/sdtv/ With thanks to the Anarchists, via Pictures on Walls
This video found its way onto Youtube, lampooning Al Gore's position on climate change. Goodness me, so it turns out that it wasn't a genuine civilian doing some 'consumer generated content', but instead a Bad and Wrong marketing firm, ominously called the DCI Group. This lot, when they aren't trying to overthrow small third world countries, do lobbying for Exxon.