Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo-finish Friday: Dexter

Count yourself lucky if you don't live in a city with these electronic billboards. They flash through an endless sequence of ads, usually for movies and TV shows, retail outlets, and various consumer products, like bottled water. I know they look cool in Blade Runner and Times Square, but in an already cluttered and graceless urban environment, they just add to the general visual noise.

During the day they are a distraction for motorists. During the night they loom bright as floodlights from above. Sometimes, they are a strange, overpowering presence, as in this blood-soaked one for the TV series Dexter. I snapped this on an early evening recently while crossing Westwood Blvd just south of Wilshire. Makes me think of "Big Brother is Watching."

For all the lovely nature shots from Leah and elsewhere around the globe, I offer this urban answer to pastoral tranquility. Happy weekend.

Coming up: Cornhusker fiction


  1. Ron? You are right, we dont have the same issues with these graceless ad`s, but we do have the inevitable billboards, and ad`s on buses, and buildings. Thank god we have tighter planning laws!
    Have a good weekend.

  2. Interesting pic, Ron, and you did a good job of it. I think those ads would get to me after a while.

  3. Good picture, and excellent commentary. I HATE billboards. I am reminded of the friggin' signs along I90 for WALL DRUG in South Dakota that seem to occur every 200 feet for 200 miles in either direction of the place. By the time I get there, I want to throw a molotov cocktail through the window!

  4. Hate these billboards. Great show, though.

  5. Eerie imagery that brings to mind the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg --famed billboard from THE GREAT GATSBY.

  6. The greatest stretch of road anywhere is the Trace in Ms. where billboards are banned. These are dangerous.

  7. Garish is the word, and it should generally stay in the movies rather than be intruding in our real lives.

  8. Cheyenne, one reason I enjoy the pics on your blog. No ads cluttering the landscape.

    Leah, at first they are just jolting, then you go through a stage of willfully ignoring them, then they kind of blend in - like a TV playing in the room that you're not really watching.

    Chris, the stretches of desert along I-10 are a parade of huge billboards. It is a blight.

    Evan, usually these billboards are ads for stuff you couldn't care less about.

    Rich, good literary connection. I hadn't thought of that.

    Patti, the idea was to keep them off the interstates, I thought, but they're huge and far enough off the road to be legal apparently.

    Charles, it's the real-life form of product placement.