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Home / Articles / · Archive / News & Columns /  The Medium Is the Message
News & Columns

The Medium Is the Message

By Christopher Smart
Posted // June 11,2007 -

An advertising firm in Denver is helping the homeless—well, that’s what they say, anyway. They’ve produced laminated signs with catchy phrases to help panhandlers separate passersby from their spare change. The placards also carry the firm’s name, Sumaato Advertising.


The Associated Press reports that the signs attempt humor. One reads, “At Least I’m Not Spamming Your E-Mail.” Another promises, “The Market Sucks / But I Offer a High Return On Your Investment: Good Karma.”


Advocates for the homeless say the gimmick trivializes homelessness and provides no lasting solutions for those who’ve fallen through the cracks.


• Years ago, Deedee Corradini tried the converse: The infamous mayor printed up business cards for the targets of panhandlers with the name and address of the nearest shelter and soup kitchen. When a ragamuffin approached with the come-on, downtown pedestrians could whip out the card, hand it off and be gone by the time the poor panhandler could say, “Hey, wait a minute. This won’t get me a pint of Popov.”


• Here at SmartBomb, we’ve been racking our brains to come up with sign slogans that would taunt even the coldest Salt Lake City pedestrian to part with some change for a down-and-outer. We came up with these: “Give Me Your Tithing And It’ll Get Into the Right Hands;” “I’m Collecting $$ For Rocky’s Campaign;” “I’m Raising $$ For a Mission;” “I’m Deedee Corradini’s ex-husband;” “I’m Mitt Romney’s Illegitimate Child;” “I’m Nancy Saxton’s Clandestine Lover;” “I’m Mike Leavitt’s Libido.”


If people won’t fork out coin to help Mike Leavitt’s libido or Nancy Saxton’s lover … well, sorry, there’s nothing more we can do.


• From our Global News Desk: The War on Terror is bringing new revelations every day. No, we’re not referring to the Bush administration’s inability to connect the dots prior to Sept. 11. Or that they’re now seeing terrorists behind every tree. Nope, we’re talking about the “Evildoers” in Iran confiscating Barbie Dolls. If there ever was proof positive that Iran is part of the “Axis of Evil,” as Dubya insists, this is it.


Iranian police have cleaned out toy stores of what the Associated Press calls “the perky ambassador of American culture.” Barbie is sold with skimpy outfits in a country where women must cover up, including headscarves when in public.


There is no word on whether Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, has been targeted by the Evildoers. But, like the Bush administration, we’re fearful.


• Closer to home, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is trying to get himself out of a pickle. After fomenting revolution among the Second Amendment crowd, the AG finds himself in the unenviable position of taking on Utah’s state judges. The Board of District Judges has told the Legislature, and by extension Shurtleff, that they can take their new law calling for gun lockers in courthouses and shove it.


The AG thinks the new law can be tweaked to keep the legislative and judicial branches of government from knocking heads. If that’s so, he could get a gig with illusionist David Copperfield.


Here’s a possible panhandler’s placard: “Hi, I’m Mark Shurtleff and I’m Not Running for Governor Someday.”


Why heck, here at SmartBomb, that would even get us to fork out a little spare change.

 
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