Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Battle of the Corporate Titans?

by Tom Bozzo

Heaven help me for blogging more about the sad case of Lindsay Lohan (even as I'm trying to stanch the flow of Anne Hathaway searchers directed here by a Googleborg hiccup that is for no good reason associating this blog's main page with a picture of the lovely and talented Ms. Hathaway wearing the T-shirt of a good liberal), but The Onion once again gets to the heart of the issue:
Philip Morris: 'Please Talk To Your Cooler Children About Cigarettes'
For is not one corporation's PR nightmare another's free publicity — especially when some of the latter industry's profits depend on the Lindsay Lohans of the world to reinforce, in a roundabout way, to the false sense of invincibility among more-or-less 20-year-olds of the non-celebrity variety?

Call me cynical, but Madison is the poster city for the corporatist/law-enforcement state's come hither/go away mixed message on underage drinking. On football game days, ordinary business on Regent St. is displaced in favor of parking and sales of bad (but not, at prevailing prices, cheap) beer in depressing-looking plastic-netted holding pens whose police gatekeepers I'd often like to give a good talking to. Meanwhile, there are seemingly dozens of bars in the vicinity of campus and the surrounding student neighborhoods that would promptly go out of business were they actually limited to serving the 21-and-up crowd.

So an underage drinking ticket here, a liquor license violation citation there, and it maybe looks like something is being done, as long as that something doesn't really affect the bottom line of the beer-industrial complex.
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