Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This piece discusses the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority's plan to join other cities in displaying rolling ads visible to subway passengers as the trains move through tunnels. Uggghhh.

Much as I loathe the idea, I still understand that all agencies, even non-elected, quasi-governmental fiefdoms, need to raise money, and often in unpalatable ways.


But, depending on your source, the M.T.A. has a surplus of approximately one billion dollars. It doesn't need to raise a few extra bucks showing commercials in subway tunnels.

* * *

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm firmly against any technological "advancement" permitting cell phone use in subway tunnels, TV screens in the cars, or rolling ads in the tunnels. The world, especially in a big city, is so filled with inputs, with energy, with stimulation, that I actually look forward to my 25 minute commute so I can just veg out: to meditate, basically. Or read, or people-watch. Much like a shower, it's one of the only times I can escape and be in my own head.

But along with chattering cell-phone users, images barreling by at 60 MPH will be yet another blow to the head in the flurry of gar-bage bombarding us from the minute we wake til we turn in at night.

When does it stop?

Update (4:57 PM): Not sure why I would find ads in subways tunnels strange when the same city brings WiFi access into Central Park.

I give up. Starting tomorrow, I'm gonna surgically implant a cell phone into my skull, and install a 12'' flat screen computer monitor on my chest. This way, I can post blog entries while I'm reading the annoying subway ads on the way to work.


Blogger Mister Trivia said...

Hi Mike,

I found you through bdodgey's blog, where I was stunned to discover someone else of my vintage who follows the adventures of the Average Australian Law Stud(ent).

As for your wanting public transport or indeed any part of public space advertising free, I had become so resigned to the idea of ads filling every available surface, that your challenging it, seemed almost revolutionary.

Places where they don't have ads. Crazy.

My job involves video and film, and I've just been to a work seminar where some mouthpiece talked about the new digital revolution being driven by advertising.

Which sounds like nonsense to me. Since when did advertising drive anything except more advertising?

We can't let them sell us more Snake Oil.


4:18 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

It's the crap I don't need I say no to. And the ads themselves.

But I'd buy the Snake Oil. Been around for centuries, no? How bad a product could it be?

4:36 PM  

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