Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This is Your Last Chance to Live

I saw a sign on a subway that read "Like Hell Money Can't Buy Happiness / Get debt-relief by calling ..." Who first said "Money can't buy happiness"? Is it a cultural touchstone in all cultures or just English-speaking ones?

"Like Hell Money Can't Buy Happiness". "Like Hell" is modern phraseology, both in its brazen language and it informality. It could have said "We don't believe that money can't buy happiness". Or it could have said "Actually, money CAN can buy happiness". Is the tone evoked through the use of the word "Hell" supposed to engender sympathy with the anguish felt by someone in debt?

I saw a safety message near a call button on a subway that read: "Push for Fire, Harassment, Illness, Accidents, Vandalism, Threats to Customer Security" What a list. Think of everything left out; however did they narrow it to these items?

Is each of these really a separate category? Fire is usually the result of an accident or vandalism, I would think. Not to mention that it constitutes a threat to customer security. Push intercom for vandalism? Who is going to be doing this pushing? The vandals? Or those who want vandalism?

If I had all the time in the world, and a much longer life, I would spend hours every day just shooting each one of these text and image balloons fighting for the attention of the dispassionate masses on public transportation systems. Each one has so much to say about its origin, the culture, the audience, and all of life.

Every advertisement inspires my curiosity. Every public safety message. Every moving or stationary part. Every person. I want to photograph and analyze each one.

No one can prove that there's more to your existence than this life. This is your last chance. Your only chance. Learn from everything. Be inspired. Make it. Write about it. Share it.


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