Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life is a Carnival

I remember being disappointed my first day at work to learn that the size of the newspaper, for the most part, is dependent on the amount of ads sold for that particular edition and not the amount of actual news. Years later newspaper ads almost seem almost quaint. At least they are right there in front of you, instead of being cleverly worked into the copy of an article like product placement in movies and television. At least newspapers, again for the most part, try to provide useful information to readers with their stories instead of some television programs which seem to exist merely to frame advertising around them.
Sometimes the ads in the paper are in direct contrast to the stories. Articles about over consumption, coupled with a full-page department store ad. Or, like page A6 of today's Times, the juxtaposition of ad and story can just be down right ironic.
Below a short police brief describing a stabbing that took place in one of the fair parking lots, is a big advertisement for the fair itself with the catchy tag line: A Surprise Every Day!
I bet the guy who got stabbed in the arm trying to break up that fight was surprised all right.
Did anyone else want travel with the fair back when they were in high school? Didn't that seem like it would be the life - working a ride on the midway (preferably one where people spin around upside down and all the change falls out of their pockets) or selling Mexican blanket knock-offs in one of the vendor tents? Unlimited access to fried dough and cheaply-stuffed plush animals, what could be better?
Now I try and avoid the fair like the plague, leaving my husband to navigate the dry straw, dust, and angry boyfriends who stab innocent bystanders that are merely trying to break up parking lot fights.
I see in the ad that John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band are playing tonight. I think they were playing the fair when I was in high school as well. Bet we'd all be pretty tight 20 years later if I'd had joined up and become a carny, talk about your road less traveled.

song: Life is a Carnival • artist: The Band

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