Monday, June 21, 2010

Pimp My Ride

Remember a few years back when some yuppy parents thought it would be cute to name their babies after their favorite companies and consumer brands? A few deeply misguided individuals actually saddled their newborns with names like Xerox, Reebok, and Camry. Some were even offered money to do so. Thankfully the trend never caught on, and I’m happy to report that, as far as I know, there’s no little boy named BP getting slugged right now on a playground in Louisiana. But the all-encompassing, all-consuming Borg that is Corporate America never rests, and if they can’t get our babies, they’ll just aim a little lower and get our cars instead:

California drivers may soon come bumper to bumper with the latest product of the digital age: ad-blaring license plates.

State lawmakers are considering a bill allowing the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles.

The device would mimic a standard license plate when the vehicle is moving but would switch to digital messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds in traffic or at a red light.

In emergencies, the plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.

The author of SB1453 says California would be the first state to implement such technology if it decides to adopt the plates on a large scale.

Supporters say license-plate advertising could generate much-needed revenue in a state facing a $19 billion deficit.

I don’t know if this a good excuse to quit driving a car or an even better excuse to leave California. I’ve been considering both, but where is there to go? There’s nary a patch of God’s gray earth that isn’t defiled by Coca-Cola logos or Nike swish stripes. They’re everywhere, like the seed pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Maybe it’s hopeless to resist. It’s a corporate world and we just live in it. The sooner we accept that, the happier we’ll be.

And now that I think about it, something like this would really pimp out my Corolla:

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