Monday, June 13, 2005
Gum and Cell Phones: The Siege Engines of Global Consumer Capitalism
So I went to Wrigley field on Saturday for the second game of the Cubs long-awaited series with the World Champion Red Sox. The Cubs can always make a game exciting – even when they’re way ahead, you never know if they’ll find a way to blow it in the end. They came perilously close that day – giving up two runs and letting another guy get on base in the top of the ninth. Still, a command performance compared to Sunday’s debacle.
But while the game didn’t disappoint, Wrigley did a bit. This was my first visit this year, and I couldn’t help being put off by the new upper deck scoreboards with the corporate logo advertising, especially since I had been looking forward to the classic Wrigley nearly ad-free baseball experience. This in addition to the annoying digital sign they added under the classic scoreboard last year. Yes, I know the field is named after a gum company, and that it was named that way to sell gum. Yes, people weren’t any more innocent back in 1914. But it seems like advertising is slipping more and more into everyday experience, and after my nightmarish experience on the el the other day it felt like an invasion. It’s no Jumbotron, but it sure is annoying. I mean what do Washington Mutual Bank and Cingular Wireless have to do with baseball, anyway? At least with beer, I can see the connection.