Sunday, January 17, 2010

"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum"

John Carpenter's They Live (1988) rules in every way. It stars WWF wrestling great, Rowdy Roddy Pipper and is apparently where Shepard Fairey (the "OBEY" artist) got his ideas; which I also think is the most apt example of irony: the OBEY street art is suppose to be criticizing consumerism and capitalist advertising by revealing an image and a command to do something (in this case OBEY whatever is being advertised, through the consumption of commodities and therefore subservience to the "brand"). And what do you know!? Capitalism did what it does best: converts every possible thing, both physical and notional, into a commodity. The OBEY concept is in fact a brand now, sold in stores everywhere-- doing the exact thing it was originally critical of. I think we can all agree that Mr. Fairey succumbed to (read "Sold Out") the great forces of the world in place of his ethics. The dilemma of modern times?
Here's an example clip: