Monday, November 10, 2008

seen on the subway this morning

This morning's commute included the first Christmas carol of the season, courtesy of a man playing the guitar and singing in Spanish. He played one unfamiliar non-holiday song from Pacific Street to DeKalb Avenue, then he played "Feliz Navidad" from DeKalb to Lawrence Street. I hate "Feliz Navidad." It's repetitive, simplistic, and worst of all, it gets stuck in my head for hours. When he started playing it I nearly pulled a muscle reaching for the volume on my iPod to drown him out. Even now there's still a hint of it floating around in my head.

This second item has been bothering me for a few days. Bank of America has a new subway ad campaign touting a reward program in which they give you $10 back for every $100 you spend on transit on their credit card. All the ads show "typical" New Yorkers with quotes like "Ten bucks back for every hundred spent on transit? Great. What about a solution for gridlock?" Or "Fantastic. What can you do about my neighbor's tap dancing?" The photos accompanying the quotes show people who are not smiling and happy about the reward. Their lips are pursed, making them look impatient and annoyed. The ads come across as arrogant. Instead of seeing the program as a benefit, the ads show a false sense of entitlement. They say New Yorkers are smug jerks who, when presented with a good deal, say (with a highly sarcastic tone) "Thanks. Now double it, get me another latte, and I'll think about it. And shut up."

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