Reading a SilverSabre post about women being stereotyped in advertising reminded me of this post I wrote a while ago. It's still going on, so I've decided to repost:
This is one of a group of Visa commercials circulating the T.V. airwaves, about long, smooth lines of customers in a store making a steady flow of traffic, all by paying with their Visa cards. There’ll be one token customer who decides to pay with cash or check, and then everything stops, everyone staring at the one person with sloppy paper currency. This could be my paranoid anti-government self talking, but this seemed a bit conspiratorial and subliminal to me.
This stream of everyday-people, like cogs on a conveyor belt, are paying for their merchandise with the Visa card (even at the freakin’ newsstand in one instance!) Their purchases, time and location, digital existential life stamp, is registered with this card corporation a bunch of times a day (the idea must make police give each other hi-fives). As soon as someone decides to pay with good old’ green, everybody centers their eyesight on what has just become enemy #1. It doesn’t sound like their trying to make life easier for us; it sounds like their trying to simplify our identities for themselves (the corporation, that is). A bit spooky is all I’m saying.