Episode 123: Anne Elizabeth Moore

January 6, 2008 · Print This Article

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Anne Elizabeth Moore

Duncan and Terri talk to Anne Elizabeth Moore about her book Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity and related topics.

For years the do-it-yourself (DIY)/punk underground has worked against the logic of mass production and creative uniformity, disseminating radical ideas and directly making and trading goods and services. But what happens when the underground becomes just another market? What happens when the very tools that the artists and activists have used to build word of mouth are co-opted by corporate America? What happens to cultural resistance when it becomes just another marketing platform?

Unmarketable examines the corrosive effects of corporate infiltration of the underground. Activist and author Anne Elizabeth Moore takes a critical look at the savvy advertising agencies, corporate marketing teams, and branding experts who use DIY techniques to reach a youth market-and at members of the underground who have helped forward corporate agendas through their own artistic, and occasionally activist, projects.

Covering everything from Adbusters to Tylenol’s indie-star-studded Ouch! campaign, Unmarketable is a lively, funny, and much-needed look at what’s happening to the underground and what it means for activism, commerce, and integrity in a world dominated by corporations.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is the co-editor of Punk Planet, the Best American Comics series editor, and the author of Hey Kidz! Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People. She has written for Bitch, the Chicago Reader, In These Times, The Onion, The Progressive, and Chicago Public Radio WBEZ’s radio program 848. She lives in Chicago.

I will mail 5 bucks to the first person who can identify the name of the artist and title of the song used to close the show, it has bothered me for years that I don’t know who it is.

Anne Elizabeth Moore
Punk Planet
Naomi Klein
Rachael Ray
Michael Jordan
Avril Lavigne
Paris Hilton
Martha Stewart
Minor Threat
Star Wars
Love Monkey
Old Style
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Jones Soda
Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_123-Anne_Elizabeth_Moore.mp3

16 thoughts on “Episode 123: Anne Elizabeth Moore”

  1. Ben says:

    Great show this week.

    On a marginally unrelated point — what is the name of the group/album/song whose lyrics urge the importance of understanding Marx, used on the show a while back. It’s a sweet, summery, soul-sounding track (in which the female vocalist recounts coming home and finding her just-laid-off mother reading Das Kapital in the kitchen) and google has not helped me find it.

  2. Bill Dolan says:

    “Integrity” — I think it’s a make of automobiles.

    Great show!

    I’ve always felt that the rise of graffiti in and around Chicago (and therefore, probably elsewhere in this country) corresponded with the appearance of it in advertising. It was during the mid ‘80s that graffitti covered Manhattan was first being used as a backdrop for fashion photography and it was soon after that stylistic tagging started showing up on rooftops along the L and on the sides of buildings. Prior to that, the graffiti here was limited to gang turf marking and more benign stuff. I’m not saying that Madison Avenue caused the spread of tagging as an art form, but it certainly was instrumental.

    On a side note, there has to be hundreds of early graffiti artists that are due royalties for the use of their works in those early ads.

    On the Grolsch controversy, I wonder when payback time will be. At some point, will Grolsch “propose” a Grolsch-branded traveling exhibition stop at some of the galleries that have been serving up the free beer? Of course, it will be a show that also serves the public good in that it will be of economically and socially disadvantaged artists that would not otherwise have a chance at art careers, or something like that, making it harder to criticize. Corporate sponsors can be like drug dealers. Though, I’ve got to say, I love the free beer!

  3. Ben says:

    This was an excellent episode. I do enjoy when BaS looks beyond the confines of the Art World (bleuch!) and takes a look at cultural trends more broadly. I also like how it is one of the few places you can hear someone say “punk rock” and know that they aren’t talking about Green Day.

    The issue of the mainstream co-opting the underground is just endlessly fascinating (and more than a little depressing) — I always think of Urban Outfitters, for some reason.

    Anyway, good to see BaS kicking off 2008 on a strong — albeit weakened by sleep deprivation and infant illness — note. (It occurred to me while I was listening, where else can you listen to three people talk for an hour in a compelling/intelligent/entertaining way about a single topic anymore?)

    My favorite piece of graffiti, which used to be visible from the Amtrak train as it swung out to the West before crawling backwards into Union Station, read “The American Dream Is Not The Only Dream.” Amen, brother!

  4. Fascinating show, great ideas, wonderful questioning of all ideas on all sides of this scary situation. It is a shame about the term, though, as I could be a friend of Brandlization but not Brandalization.

    Anne — are you the same Anne Elizabeth Moore who was the editor of The Comics Journal for a while, back when I read it regularly and even published in it on occasion?

    Really great work, people! Intelligent, critical and self-questioning conversation!

  5. duncan says:

    Mark. Yes it is the same Anne.

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  7. Richard says:

    Thanks for the plug!

  8. Maggie says:

    I concur with others that it was a very intellectually stimulating show. I just want to add that while we all like to sit and ponder these conundrums, it would be wise of us all (including myself) to become ACTIVE in responding to these and other important issues facing our culture and society by not just being aware of our consumerism but directing it and using it as a tool of rebellion. Chicago is a host to many independent shops and I know I try to do my best in patronizing them when I can afford to and when it is an option. In addition, we should all remember that these large corporate entities impact the entire world such as workers in 3rd world countries, rain forests and the like (we already know that, of course!).

    On the beer note, I have been to galleries that also promote some of the independent retailers around them by serving samples and the like, is that the same thing or different?

    When did just going to the grocery store and buying a cup of coffee get so complicated anyway?

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  9. Hey everybody! Keep up with Anne in Cambodia — it is worth it, wonderful adventures and posts:

  10. less_cunning says:

    i never get confused when i go into the grocery store. someone should read “white noise?”

  11. Ann Onymous says:

    I love Don Delillo.

    Or were you referring to the Cop Shoot Cop album from the early 90’s.

  12. less_cunning says:

    we only remember the grandmasters. we never remember the burnouts & the fadeawayers.

  13. Balzac says:


  14. Russell Maycumber says:

    “I win…I win!!!!” burnouts and fadeawayers shall be remembered.

  15. Tyler Durden Mackenzie says:

    1. You don’t talk about Bad at Sports
    2. You don’t talk about Bad at Sports
    3. If this is your first visit to Bad at Sports you must fight Duncan

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