Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Visa Conspiracy

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.


  1. I agree--a little bit creepy!!!

    p.s. BIL is my brother in law. :)

  2. and now I will have nightmares....except they will be even more scary because the likelihood of them coming true is much higher than when they starred of the boogeyman.

    corporations=new boogeyman

  3. Those commercials have always bothered me even though I can admit, as a photographer, I really like the fluidity it shows and the repetition. (It makes cool photos! I can't help it!)

    One of the best times of my life was when I lived in Italy because I NEVER used my credit card. The only time I needed it was at the ATM to get cash. And everything was so much simpler.

  4. Don't Feed The PixiesJune 30, 2008 at 4:08 AM

    Then of course there's the magnetic strip in paper money that can be scanned to see where its been - the buggers have got you every which way you turn. Seriously though, no one even thinks twice about how this information is being used - think how bad it will get when we all have I.D. cards. Big Brother is watching

  5. Hehe, have u any idea how much flack I got for that post :)

    I agree, the whole subliminal mindshift that media causes is quite creepy.

    Especially when you watch the way it causes young people to change the way they behave just to fit in.


  6. Indeed creepy. Quite good commercial though, because of the fluidity and the effects.

  7. worst thing here is how humans are portrayed as goods being moved along visa's conveyor belt of life...

  8. oops! you already said that in your post, jason (must slow down when i read)! i concur!

  9. Bobbb - Citizen of EarthJuly 4, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Bless your paranoid anti-government self - for of course you are right.
    I think a little paranoia is probably good for us

    I look at it this way...
    Perhaps I AM paranoid, but being so keeps me on guard
    And so far - they haven't gotten me.

    Still I love the music in this
    Pure Carl Stalling magic


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