Hey, forget about it. Was in the lane and everything ahead was coming to a stop. This is downtown moving at 8 mph. Mayhem closing the hole. Black Mustang keeps its distance. Intersection clears on the green. Steel and wheel kindle idle breaths. Auto pilot god forsakes mayhem the mortal. You go your way I’ll go mine. At last a gasp of air. Traffic creeps by the Basilica. Scooter races towards Uptown. On ramp to 394 hell obscures the old railroad yard. City is behind and ahead is an urban bush trail. Quieted mayhem rolling along at restive speed. Shadows and movement, among a throng, their eyes left, burrow like an arrow into the woods hole.
We are what we are advertised. I grew up with Life and Look magazine. In two issues that I came across the other day Life September 1967 and Look October 1971 the advertisements at that time of year were for the next years’s line- up of automobiles. The advertising at this time was heavy on hard liquor and cigarettes. By 1967 Life had quit the cigarette habit and refused ad space to this killer industry, though there was still “product” placement in at least one ad for the American Gas Association. This left the other leading weekly magazine, Look, still in 1971, with full page cigarette ads.
America was in the thick of Viet Nam but you would hardly know it from these chronicles. American automobiles were growing larger in size to become land yachts. The steriordial SUV of their time. We have not come very far from those bygone times. We continue to search for relevancy of the War. We have taken our smoking habits behind closed doors. Our drinking has become the sucker punch that kills on a Friday night. And the “product” placement gets under your skin 24/7.
Can the tunes. Unplug the ear buds. Leave your car parked. Ride a bike. Now or then the message in America is to make it big, make it cheap and hit em hard.
Funny thing is how in that September 22, 1967 issue Coke took a back cover ad that permeates many of our sub- conscious over 40 years later. I grew up with Coke and fries. It was a treat after caddying in that summer of 1967. To this day, my generation loves Coke and fries. When this generation looks back will they love “energy” drinks? Will they decry SUV’s? Will they wonder why our country sunk so low to be in two Wars for a decade? Will they have their Men’s World and Ophra magazines to look back on and see all the food and fashion that made us bigger, cheapened our existence and left us strung out like a night of brawling?