Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Report a flasher
According to the experts, Americans are exposed to 4000 advertisements every day (so long as by "expert" you mean "some wanker's marketing blog we googled upon" and by "4000" you mean "some number she just made up"). At any rate, we all see so many ads that we often don't even consciously register them. [Read LEO! It keeps your hair shiny and your genitalia robust!]

And thanks to the recent trend of converting fossil fuels to flashing Internet- and road-side sales pitches, our world is beginning to resemble a post-Celine-Dion Vegas wasteland: new, improved, and 75% more annoying, two hotdogs for a dollar with fill-up, now with zero grams trans fat.

Because of the ubiquity of advertising, local business owners face a dilemma: It's nigh impossible to get their messages through all the messages. How is a driver at a busy intersection supposed to sort out "Printer Cartridges 2 for 1" from "Peep Shows Here" from "Jesus – Don't Leave Earth Without Him" from "Hey, asshole, green means go?"

And because flashing signs can distract motorists and cause accidents -- and because they're hideous and soul-crushing and cut you off from nature and make you want to pull over, fall to your knees, scratch out your eyeballs and weep inconsolably -- Metro Louisville requires sign owners to flash their messages no more frequently than every 20 seconds. Which, let's face it, is an eternity under capitalism.

Business owners say the 20-second delay is an unfair limitation, especially when trying to communicate with motorists who don't move their lips while reading. So business owners are asking the city to allow them to rotate their E-ads more frequently, which they believe will lead to a 10-piece box for only $8.99 and 40% off your next body wax. The owners also complain that the current law is unfairly enforced, relying on the public to report violations of the 20-second rule -- a rule you can help more fairly enforce by contacting the Office of Inspections, Permits and Licenses whenever you see a sign flashing its message faster than every 20 seconds.

The Metro Planning Commission promises to review the law to make sure it's fair. Since you're going to visit the Louisville Metro site anyway, you might as well drop by the council page and let them know you're appalled by the onslaught of advertising in our community. You know, not counting newspaper ads for phone sex, strip clubs, liquor, local bars and that cool WFPK list of albums.