Sunday, January 09, 2005

Show Your Support. Show Your Support NOOOOW!!

by Tom Bozzo

The title is an only slightly Gibletized modification of actual ad copy in one of today's Wisconsin State Journal coupon circulars (hat tip: Suzanne), just below another ad I cannot even begin to describe without snarking in ways that may deeply disturb some regular readers. The ad, from a firm called Siph-O Corporation (whose name apparently derives from a piece of toilet tank hardware) actually reads "Show Your Support NOW!"

Nothing in the above paragraph is made up.

I expect many readers have noticed that the occasional car with a "Support Our Troops" magnet has long since been supplemented with vehicles expressing magnet-awareness seemingly of every cause the magnet industry has magnet-ized, cementing the magnets' position as the "Baby on Board" signs of the mid-Zilches. The national discourse being what it is, most parents now simply haul their babies around in the most tank-like vehicles they can afford.

Only the newspaper ad circulars, though, can provide a true view of the phenomenon in all its... its... OK, I live on a street where the ratio of Kerry bumper stickers still on display (not even counting my own) to awareness magnets is infinity, so the right word escapes me.

Support for the Troops both in plain yellow and extra-patriotic (shown, above right) flavors is only the beginning. The offerings quickly veer into the territory of presumably unintentional irony with "Freedom Isn't Free" (above, left), then just as quickly into pathos with "Keep Mommy Safe" (below, right).

Shrillness alert! I find that "Freedom Isn't Free" and "Keep Mommy Safe" induce a desire to see the Torturer-In-Chief, the Torturer's Apprentice, the Secretary of Torture in the Name of Defense, and the Torturer-General-Designate worked over by squads of Euro-jurists at the Hague sooner rather than later. I leave the assignment of these titles to actual Administration luminaries as an exercise for the reader.

Still, the Faf-pie must be taken by the plain purple "Awareness" awareness magnet (lower left; once again not made up). The frightening thing is that my years of economic training tell me that such things wouldn't exist in the absence of a product market.

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