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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

watch it: “Clean Coal Air Freshener”

Notable because it’s hilarious… hilarious because it’s by Joel and Ethan Coen:

This is part of the This Is Reality campaign to point out the fact that there’s no such thing as “clean coal”… no matter what Barack Obama says.

“Clean coal harnesses the awesome power of the word clean…” That is the kind of sendup/critique of the techniques of advertising I wish we’d see more of, not just in connection with political and scientific issues like this one but in relation to how we’re sold anything and everything.

First time I saw this ad on TV, that jarring tone at the end made me think something had gone horribly wrong with my speakers. Which is an effective way of making a point, too, by really demanding your attention.

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  • Alli

    Pretty funny. I have a hard time thinking we’ll see that Ad here in West Virginia though.

    I’m not very sure if the Reality Coalition wants coal gone, or if they really just want the coal industry to stand by what they say and start finding ways to capture CO2? Anyone who knows the history of Appalachia knows that the coal industry isn’t full of the most wonderful people in the world, but they still power half the homes in the country. They’re not going anywhere. Now that we have a democrat in the white house, maybe they’ll restore some of the EPA standards that the Bush administration cut. Granted, I’m sure if he tries, we’ll hear all about how this will hurt businesses and the already failing economy blah blah.

  • Joey

    I don’t know, I think we’ve been desensitized to this kind of pseudo-deconstruction by now. It’s pretty much just aping similar anti-smoking campaigns and stuff like the Simpsons. Who really believes coal can really be “clean”? Nobody. Which doesn’t mean most people really care. Thing is, WE HAVE A LOT OF IT. What coal boosters are really trying to do is undermine the value of oil, because coal-wise the US has a competitive advantage. As long as the effects are invisible except to the poor, it’s all fine and dandy.

  • Joey

    Oh, and by the time it’s not, we’re all dead, as in Keynes’ long run. Who cares about our children? The country will be bankrupt and underwater by then anyway.

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