Branding our disasters

I am sure that other people will have commented on this before now but I was sitting on the train this morning and suddenly noticed that 911 had become a a Brand, yep a capital B brand. It’s now up there with 007 and Heinz 57 and Four and Twenty and 42 (no hang on, that was an anwswer not a Brand).

Seven/Seven (that was the London underground bombings and doesn’t seem to have caught on, I don’t think Branding apart from “Page 3” is a terribly British thing to do. I could be wrong

The American press on the other hand has Katrina well on it’s way to being a Brand rapidly followed by Rita.

The only saving grace so far is that 911 hasn’t made it to being a verb like photoshop or google but it is probably only a matter of time.

Naomi Klein in her book “No Logo” makes a huge amount of sense but it all seems to be ignored by the mainstream press and the alternative press (yes folks there is still an alternative press out there) seem to feel forced to follow along in an attempt to engage with a readership.

Does branding reduce the incomprehensible scale of the stupity of flying planes into buildings to make some vague barely defined political point (We dont like you America, well next time consider sending a postcard) to something that people can deal with, not necessarily understand but it makes it easier to put it in a box, call it 911 and move on with your life.

I read the New York Times and find myself apalled/fascinated/touched by the debate over what to do with the hole at “Ground Zero” ( oh look another Brand) which generates as much bandwidth as the “Virtual Plague”.

I noticed on a couple of feeds that I get that there is a virtual disease killing of players in the World of Warcraft online game, you can read the details here. Now at the same time as all these virtual characters are getting killed off by a disease and some people are suggesting
” many are treating this as an exciting and unprecedented event in the WoW universe. It would be even more interesting if epidemiologists in the real world found that this event was worthy of studying as a kind of controlled experiment in disease propagation.”

Now bugger me but open the windows (clear holes in the wall NOT the program) guy’s and maybe stroll down to Darfur,or Aceh or Sri Lanka or New Orleans if you want to find out about what disease does. Call me old fashioned but given results that we can see of the tsunamis and hurricanes and good old fashined flu, why do we need to investigate a VIRTUAL PLAGUE when a quick search of Google shows that epidemiologists already have access to serious modelling power based on real data. It would probably more beneficial for the programmers of World of Warcraft to read a bit of the existing lirterature to solve THEIR understanding of how epidemics work.

Sorry, but some times stuff like this drives me crazy.

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