Planet Waves
COVER LOGIN HOROSCOPES FEATURED ARCHIVES ABOUT PHOTO Cosmic Confidential :: The 12th Annual of Planet Waves :: 2010
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Winter growth on the Shawangunk Ridge in New York State. Photo by Eric Francis.

Planet Waves is Advertising Free  

ONE THING to bear in mind as you browse the pages and services of Planet Waves is that we are an ad-free site. We want you to know this, and to remember it. Planet Waves is sponsored by your subscriptions, not by outside interests trying to exploit your awareness or change your mind about something.

My decision to ban outside advertising on Planet Waves is simple: I cannot stand the stuff. I resent the fact that everywhere I go, I am pelted with another promotional message. I can't pay $10 for a movie and be left in peace to watch it. I even regret having to include banners that promote our own subscription services, but alas, we do need to remind people to subscribe.

Says Wikipedia in its essay on advertising, "Every major medium is used to deliver these messages: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and billboards. Advertisements can also be seen on the seats of grocery carts, on the walls of an airport walkway, and the sides of buses, or heard in telephone hold messages or in-store PA systems -- nearly anywhere a visual or audible communication can be placed."

Nearly every site on the Internet has flying chickens in one form or another trying to distract us from the enjoying, exploring and learning. As a photographer, I can feel how manipulative these messages are, exploiting our insecurities and doubts about our self-image. Ads sell us things we don't want, don't need and don't care about. They sell us things we already have. Pay attention and you'll notice the way they induce us to hate ourselves and compensate by buying something.

The issue goes deeper and wider, though, and is truly global in nature. Sut Jhally, a professor at the U Mass Amherst, makes the point that advertising is driving the world to the brink of extinction. Without it, we would not be so inclined to consume to the degree that we do, which is in turn causing severe environmental issues that we are facing. Here is an article that covers some of that subject matter.

Without this kind of economic obsession, we would live more moderate lives, focused on our feelings and our relationships. We would have more realistic views about sex. The money spent on advertising could be spent on making the world a better place. I think we would be happier, more honest and more centered, so that is what we practice at Planet Waves.

Eric Francis

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