Guy Adams: Music to the ears of local politicians

Share
Related Topics

Regardless of the deepening recession, corporate America is working its socks off to get the nation's suddenly impoverished consumers to part with their hard-earned dollars.

An hour's drive from LA's Westside, where a shell-shocked middle-class is digesting the collapse of its share portfolios, the advertising industry has unveiled a new weapon in its battle for what remains of our wallets: "musical" roads.

The first was installed last month in Lancaster. It involved a highway being fitted with ingenious rumble strips that hum the William Tell "Overture" when driven over 55 mph.

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, the whole thing was supposed to advertise Honda Civics. But soon local youths began driving there in the middle of the night and waking residents. So last week, 18 days after it had been installed, Lancaster's musical road was unceremoniously flattened.

In this neck of the woods, advertising is constantly intruding into daily life. The other day, it emerged that 4,000 of the 11,000 billboards polluting LA's skyline have been illegally erected. The city's authorities seem unwilling, through either incompetence or corruption, to crack down on the problem. Part of their reluctance is cultural: you only have to clock the number of advert breaks on US TV – or watch an episode of Mad Men – to be reminded that America was built on branding and that commerce will always win the battle against peace'n'quiet-loving locals.

Back in Lancaster, the mayor, Rex Parris, is bizarrely (given this week's controversy) planning to further swell his coffers by letting other advertisers turn streets into "musical" roads. Thus his city will effectively become a civic jukebox.

It's a bold way of solving a budget crisis – and goodness knows, California's bankrupt local authorities need those right now – but I'm not sure I'd care for it in my backyard.

Flynt nails Palin as joke

Proof, were it needed, that Sarah Palin has completed her long journey from political sensation to national joke: The Los Angeles porn baron Larry Flynt just made an X-rated film starring a lookalike of the Alaskan governor, called Who's Nailin' Palin?

Its plot is a satirical triumph: two Russian tank drivers run out of fuel on the outskirts of Wasilla and knock on the door of a McMansion. It turns out to belong to the governor, whose husband is away racing his snowmobile. You can guess the rest...

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts

Björt Ólafsdóttir
 

Daily catch-up: opening round in the election contest of the YouTube videos

John Rentoul
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor