Thursday, October 11, 2012

Silly Little Post About Barbra Streisand And Freddy's Bar. . And Money That's In The Wrong Place

Back on July 25th I published a sort of silly little post that I suggested might give readers a small peek into the inside world of blogging. . .(See: Silly Little Blog Post About Dumb Little Blog Ad: My Excoriation of Barclays Paid-For Name Building Earns More Barclays Spending To Get Its Name Out.)

I recounted how an ad popped up on my Google Blogger screen (as they do) right after I hit the button to publish a Noticing New York article that extensively castigated Barclays Bank (and its resigned-in-disgrace, chief executive Robert E. “Bob” Diamond) for not being inclined to do the right thing by community standards but nevertheless paying to have the `honor' of having their names prominently appear on things like the “Barclays” Ratner/Prokhorov basketball arena opening in Brooklyn and the (Bob) “Diamond Building” on Colby College’s campus (See: No Sparkle In Barclays’ Bob Diamond: Societal Mores Unmoored, What And Who We Honor Today- That Which We Used To Shun) . . .

. . . .  The Google Blogger ad that popped up was, if you can believe, for Barclays BankTelling me I should “open an account today” with Barclays!

As I explained, the ad probably popped up because (scary to think) Google Blogger knew what I was writing about!

As I explained (in more detail) when I wrote that earlier silly little post, I'd previously had a similar experience:  It was when I was writing about how Bloomberg was spending too much money to get re-elected  (Sunday, November 1, 2009, Bloomberg vs. Thomson (54% to 29%?): It’s Not What You Think. (For Instance the “P” is Missing and What Might “P” Stand For?).)  The ensuing advertisement Google Blogger generated  told me I should  "vote for Bloomberg! "

Now, while writing another article I have had another similar internet experience.  Yet again, I was writing about how people are spending too much money promoting the wrong things and I was writing once again about the Ratner/Prokhorov arena that has promtionally been named "Barclays."   (See: Wednesday, October 10, 2012, Weighing The Change In Brooklyn: The True Cost Of “Barclays” Center Glitter, The Cost Of “Barclays” Center Tickets.)  In the article I zeroed in on concerts Barbra Streisand is scheduled to be performing in the Ratnner/Prokhorov "Barclays" arena.  Ms. Streisand, a self-described activist, is one of the singers who has not answered an open letter from the community questioning why she is performing at the scandalously spawned and scandalously named arena.  (The other, incongruously, is singer/song-writer Leonard Cohen.)

I was asking whether it made sense that government should be subsidizing tickets to the Barbra Streisand concerts to the tune of $20 a ticket when that same $20 would have paid for an entire night out at Freddy's, the local bar and music venue that was evicted from the neighborhood through eminent domain abuse to clear the way (together with much of the rest of the neighborhood) for the "Barclays" Center.  Freddy's, or a versin of what it had been, had to move to another neighborhood in Brooklyn where it now pays higher taxes (like the rest of us) to subsidize the Streisand concerts and the other activities at the "Barclays" Center.  I asked readers to consider: What would happen if, instead of subsidizing "Barclays" Center's corporatizing takeover of Brooklyn, the same amount of money was spent on subsidizing 3.6 million trips (with $20.00 each) to local tax-paying cabarets and restaurants?

In composing the article I did research for it by watching a video about Freddy's Bar and Grill that I found on Norman Oder's Atlantic Yards Report site.  Many videos you can play on the internet automatically include advertising snippets.  What do you think happened when I clicked and started to watch the video about Freddy's?  You can probably guess by now: Two eyes appeared floating on top of the video about what a wonderful neighborhood bar Freddy's was.  It was an ad for Barbra Streisand and the eyes were hers. ----  That is the image you see at the beginning of this post.

It wasn't an ad for her performances at the "Barclays" Center and I don't know exactly why it appeared.  Was the explanation, as before, that Google again knew what I had been writing about?  Or was it because I was clicking on the web from Brooklyn and all of Brooklyn is being targeted with Barbra advertising because of the upcoming concert?  Or did the ad appear because the internet knew I was interested in that spot where Freddy's once stood, perhaps even in the music once offered there, and calculatingly pulled up the new substitution?

I don't know exactly but I get the overall point:

Write about how an obscene amount of money is being spent promoting Bloomberg: You'll get an advertisement promoting Bloomberg in response.

Write about how absurd it is to be spending public resources promoting the name of a nefarious bank like Barclays:  You'll get an advertisement telling you Barclays is so great you ought to bank with them.

Write about how unfair it is that local music is being put out of business by having to subsidize Barbra Streisand at the "Barclays" Center: You'll get an advertisement telling you to go out and buy Barbra's music.

Suffice it to say too much money being spent on advertising is on the wrong side of things.  I won't go into the question here about whether the funds spent on all this lavish Bloomberg and Barclays advertising or the subsidies for Barbra Streisand's concerts were come by fairly.  You probably know that it is my Noticing New York viewpoint that just wasn't the case.

I'll leave you with this. . .   Maybe you’d like to click on this video by Peg Byron about the old Freddy’s and see what advertisement comes up for you.  Whatever ad comes up the Freddy's video itself is a good one I suspect you will enjoy watching.

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