I actually did something on April 21st that coincides with my mostly anti-corporate political views — I participated in the peaceful 2,000-strong anti-FTAA protest in St. Paul. It was a good experience and I’m glad I was there. I’m also glad there were others on the front lines, [found on DiK] and I salute them.
This is not to say there aren’t major inconsistencies in my life that I probably need to address at some point. Case in point: Last weekend, on April 28th, I saw the Brewers play at their brand new, largely publicly financed, corporate naming rights purchased Miller Park. [I’ve loved baseball as long as I can remember; I put a bit of distance between myself and the sport a couple years ago, but I still like it.]
The point is, while I was there enjoying Geoff Jenkins’ three home run game and Ben Sheets’ first major league win, controversy exploded on the web, apparently. A company called ThreeOh launched a corporate-sponsored site called Reboot that was supposed to be a big event in the “web community;” the idea was that participating sites would all redesign and “reboot” at the same time on May 1st. It was a pretty ambitious project, and by all indications, a large-scale disruption. So. Is ThreeOh a publicity-hungry corporate shill or a valuable resource that injected a little life into the web? Probably a bit of both. I mean, I found some nice sites with good ideas, but, well, cripes — it’s sponsored by a brand of gin. How nastily consumerist.
The consumer culture is one of the more troubling things to me about the rise of the corporation. It’s frightening how much power huge corporations have over media, culture, government, politics, and even education — increasingly people are ceasing to be citizens and becoming consumers.