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Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity Paperback – November 12, 2007
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Should be required back-to-school reading."
Potentially deadly to the corporate media-state in which we live. . . . A tempting book."
There's an industry around you that works, whether you agree with it or not." -- Alec Bourgeois
A useful and occasionally whimsical resource. . . . Will help get those critical questions rolling."
About the Author
Anne Elizabeth Moore is the co-editor of Punk Planet, The Best American Comics series editor, and the author of Hey Kidz! Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People. She has written for Bitch, the Chicago Reader, In These Times, The Onion, The Progressive, and Chicago Public Radio WBEZ's radio program 848. She lives in Chicago.
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Ms. Moore is the perfect author for this book because she's an experienced media critic and writer on a variety of topics relating to activism. She was the co-editor of the now-defunct Punk Planet. She's written for a whole slew of magazines including the Onion and Bitch. She's even been on Chicago Public Radio. Anne Elizabeth Moore continues to be at the forefront of making quality media and marketing observation.
-If you try to control the discourse about a piece after it's out there, you must admit that it's become intellectual property and is no longer art (compensation is another matter)
-Work for hire is not yours, no matter how hard the corporation tries to sell it that way
-Corporations have destroyed the myth of the aesthete by selling it to everyone else
-transparency is the best way to encourage integrity on all sides, even if it destroys the illusion of uninhibited expression
I was struck by how many times the participants in these faux-DIY campaigns used "really organic" or some variant to describe the experience. Ummm, I know reading the stipulations of the contract might "totally strangle my muse, man" or something else to the effect of shattering the illusion of autonomy, but it's entirely necessary, as Ms. Moore points out. Once you know the boundaries in which you are expected to perform, you know exactly where those boundaries are best exploited according to your own (hopefully admirable) ethos. That, to me, is the most important lodestar in punk, which has been subsumed by its more immediately profitable counterpart, the myth of the aesthete and the hyperreal cult of hyper-individualism.
One of the most surreal examples in the book is where she details the "graffadi" wars--and just how much of a zero-sum game they are. No one wins, and no one emerges looking good--not the artist collectives, not the corporations or the artists in their employ, not the reactionary taggers, not the city, nor the business owners that sell the wall space.
One of the more sobering examples is the war between Minor Threat and Nike. They actually arrived at the most "punk" solution to a thorny ethical dilemma about appropriation, only 10 months after the fact. It taught me this: appropriation is inevitable. But it's also a golden opportunity to force the corporation to act ethically. They found a clever way that would've increased brand cachet for themselves while minimizing same for Nike. That's very punk. But even more punk to do it. Something I'll keep in mind.
The style is concise and witty.
Any book which heps the reader to emerging insidious marketing techniques is worth reading. The fact that this one is well-written makes what is essential a pleasure.
If the price is beyond your means, try your local public library.
If they don't have it, request it!