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Promoting Your Film With A Bang

Monday, May 1, 2006 1:00 AM

A brief comment on the 'Day Without Immigrants' protest that may or may not take place where you live.

Consider that a society is defined by how it treats its minorities. It's been a long and difficult road. Slavery, using Chinese labor to build the railroads and then rewarding them with the Chinese Exclusion Act, segregation.

And yet we tell ourselves we don't need affirmative action; we have a president who crows about 'affirmative access,' but when it comes down to protesting, he'd much rather minority workers shut up and be thankful for their minimum-wage jobs.

Now ask yourself how you'd feel if you were the minority, and the President of the United States offered yet more empty promises, holding out hope of guest worker programs and citizenship. The same old song and dance that's been paraded around for generations.

As long as you keep quiet and do your job.

A boot to the head for the idiots behind a promotional effort for Mission Impossible III, which involved placing speakers inside newspaper bins. The speakers were supposed to play the Mission Impossible theme.

But apparently, the devices weren't attached terribly well. A concerned citizen saw a red plastic box with wires trailing from it, and came to the conclusion that it might be a bomb.

Thus, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department dispatched their arson squad, which destroyed the news box as a point of procedure.

I'm curious, of course, as to why the box is an open design that trails wires � most likely to a speaker, and why both Paramount and Los Angeles Times executives thought it would be a cute promotional item.

The speakers are spread randomly throughout 4,500 news boxes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. I'd call it even money that before the film's premiere this Friday, all of those boxes will be vandalized or damaged as 'collectors' go scavenging for the units. None have shown up on eBay yet, but that's only a matter of time; if the boxes are so poorly designed as to fall off in the course of daily use, then it will be difficult to prove vandalism. (In fact, if executives even imagined that the devices would last the full run of the promotion, they're kidding themselves.)

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