We’ve all seen the advertisements, ranging from how you should look to what you should put in your body. I know this because advertisements like this assault our audio and visual senses constantly, especially when our college is dead center in downtown Montreal. Even in current society, the morality of advertisements is up to debate. Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood show us a horror show of possibility in advertisements, that we might be closer to than we realize.
In the first two novels, advertisements and the corporations behind them are a fundamental part of practically everything, whether it be education (HelthWyzer High), or police and security (CorpSeCorps). All day, a person raised in the compounds would be taught that the corporations were their friends, supporting them and giving them everything they need. Those in the pleeblands would see advertisements as promised salvation to their sufferings, hence part of why so many people decided to eat up Crake’s BlyssPluss pill, enriched with the deadly JUVE virus. Teaching people that corporations are their friends is certainly questionable, considering that corporations value profits and business, not people. Today, people can live much more independently from corporations, and make the choice of knowing that corporations see them as money, not people. But in The MaddAddam trilogy, this new level of corporate involvement doesn’t give that choice to children growing up in the corporate embrace.
As awful as a world with corporate indoctrination sounds, it’s not as far off as we’d hope. Most everywhere we shop is corporate, and local alternatives are quickly being bought up as another corporate profit opportunity. We see advertisements 24/7, and slowly but surely, they’re taking over many aspects of our lives. Locally, a rather distasteful change was made to Montreal’s concert hall, Metropolis. A location with a long and rich history is being rebranded as “M Telus”, to associate that brand name with everything Metropolis stood for: good times and music.
Metropolis, Montreal concert hall on Sainte-Catherine E
While we’re not quite at the MaddAdam level of corporate branding in every aspect of our lives, we are gradually getting to a point where corporations will have infiltrated as many parts of public life as possible to peddle their products onto us, to create dependence, and to guarantee profit.
Have you noticed any corporations trying to wrap their fingers around your favourite locations? Do you think we can prevent this level of involvement in every aspect of our lives? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment down below.
Tags: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, Corporations, Advertising, Influence, Metropolis, Margaret, Atwood