There’s a fine line between entertainment and indoctrination in the digital sphere in which we all occasionally dwell. The truth is thing you enjoy was likely placed on this here series of tubes by someone with a purpose other than pure joy.
Take this baller roaming the streets of New York City, crossing up this poor woman who instinctively decided to guard the far side of East 23rd Street. What on first view makes you laugh raises questions as the video loops. How long did this woman take to be identified and how improbable is it she’s this good a sport?
Why, you wonder, is there an immobile man standing in the crosswalk? Is he looking on with wonder, transfixed by the crosswalk crossover of this pedestrian playa hater? No, he is filming. And his film is accompanied with a hashtag and an @-mention.
Should you feel bad for laughing at an ad? Should we look down upon the star of this viral sensation for requesting credit for his ball handling and retweeting Trendsmaps? What does it say about this modern media landscape when news organizations willingly take part in the cross-promotion of a basketball star‘s footwear?
The question is not whether this is funny, or even staged, but of how you handle knowing the truth: you’re not smarter than the people that get paid to take your money. Because deep down you know that advertising works, the soles of your shoes wear thin with age and you live almost too-conveniently close to a mall.
Watch where you walk.