Last night I got thinking about my role in perpetuating consumerism and corporate brands and money. I had received an incredibly in-depth expose from a very good friend of whom I rarely speak to in recent years. Oh how the time slips away…but I’ve got a solid 40 more years before my posts are centered on times of yore; back to the point. I was taken aback by the rawness of his email and the eloquent words chosen to share his experience with me, and in relation to my earlier post. This friend is the type who would cover brands on clothing and material possessions with tape or stickers. I have even seen the man wear a shirt inside out, choosing tags and seems over the flavor of the week brand in print. Logos and brands and marketing are so intertwined with our identities that I’ve been with people who comment on articles of clothing solely because it has a little swoosh, or whatever symbol corporations have implanted into our collective conscious.
But here I am, building my Ben brand, defining myself with content to be consumed and symbology to be shared. I get it, I really do. It’s easy to identify your crew if you all dress alike, or root for a team with defined colors to represent, be it bloods red or crips blue. It’s also a good way to recognize those who are not your crew, and know how to interpret their personality and interests thanks to the coding involved in our clothing choices. And I also know that representing a team of mutual admiration can bring people together in various environments in which two completely different people can lose their more constant identity and become part of the team, as witnessed most glaringly in the Seattle Seahawks fandom of the Pacific Northwest. I get it.
However, what I do not like is association with symbology, beliefs, and brands that I don’t chose to consume and promote. We are all walking billboards these days, regardless of how hard we try not to be. Our cars are status symbols, and your shoes tell a story about you. When I edit this website I don’t see ads, but I am aware they are here for the readers. And, much like advertisers are straying away from Bill O’Reilly to avoid being associated with sexual assault (amazingly that is their only concern with the pundit), I don’t want to be associated with products and brands being pedaled by WordPress while my readers are hearing me scream against the system at the top of my lungs.
So, for little more than $1 a month, I decided to purchase a year of the Premium hosting service, which removes ads. This pleases me immensely. So, without further hesitation, I give to you a space unhindered by pop-ups and sneaky sidebar videos auto buffering your precious data bandwidth into submission. Do me a favor though, imagine pieces of tape between paragraphs, holding back the powers that be, be it only for a few minutes.