The Aesthetics of Corporate Greed

Commentary about business and finance.
Aug. 15 2000 4:15 PM

The Aesthetics of Corporate Greed

None of the newspapers I read carried the picture I most wanted to see today, which was a photograph of the "Corporate Greed Monster" that I'd read was part of the protest activity outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I wanted to see it for two reasons. One is that all protests that aim to take on corporate power and its allies now seem to include giant puppets. Why is that? Anyway, the second reason is that this particular puppet seemed like something worth seeing--corporate greed itself, brought to life (sort of), if not quite personified, then puppetified.

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I found a picture through Yahoo!, which you can view here.

Frankly I'm a little disappointed. The monster looks like a big green man, wearing a suit. He has a two-headed man--one Bush head, one Gore head--under his power, and he has a big, leering grin. I guess he looks evil. But he also looks sort of spindly, sickly even, as though it wouldn't be that hard to stomp him. Somehow I've always thought of Corporate Greed Monster as being a little hardier. Maybe you had to be there.

As a footnote to this brief musing on the aesthetics of the Greed Monster, I'll note that the most popular protest photo among visitors to Yahoo!'s news site does not involve that monster at all but instead features the arrest of a man in a pig suit. The caption studiously avoids any pigs-arrest-pig jokes. If you like the idea of applying market theory to everything, you might want to visit the Yahoo! feature that tracks which news stories and photos have been e-mailed the most times. When I looked shortly after lunch time, the handcuffed pig picture had been e-mailed 186 times. A half-hour later the total was up to 191.

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