Recently I was reading the comic form review of the new movie Died Young Stayed Pretty in the Vilage Voice and that quote struck me as interesting and perhaps in it’s absurdity absolutely correct.
I quietly filed that great quote in the back of my head and just went about my day for a few days and suddenly I was seeing the smiley everywhere I really didn’t want to. The first was one of those Wal-Mart ads with the “rollback” slashing prices as the corporate behemoth swallows local culture whole with it’s army of pensioners greeting you at the door – a future they never envisioned in retirement. The next one was more unexpected – the movieThe Watchmen – which has used a smiley face as an icon for the graphic novel for years – a comic book I really enjoyed when I read it back in the eighties (that along with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight were probably the most impact full titles of the eighties) and I guess I just got used to seeing the cover enough – but was shocked by how well used it was in the current movie adaptation – funny enough it’s use mostly does symbolize an approach to humanity that at time is questionable in it’s relationship with the culture around it.
After these two, examples the image just kept coming at me like a bad dream – never really being used for anything better than a cynical symbol of a desire towards consumer culture or worse as a an icon used by a sales culture that is at best dominating and at worst the future employer and cultural access point of the future poor and struggling middle class.
Have a nice day.