Stanley Q. Woodvine writes eloquently in the Georgia Straight about a tiny woman named Linda  carrying a very large sign advertising the dispersal of an American Apparel store.Mr. Woodvine notes “Partly it was simply the ridiculous disparity of scale. Here was this petite young woman with bright auburn hair, tromping around in oversized gumboots and gripping in big yellow work gloves a garish plywood and corrugated plastic assemblage that towered over her comparatively diminutive frame—that was a striking enough sight by itself.”

Mr. Woodvine is a homeless writer and graphic artist. He saw the irony of  a person making $12.50 an hour to carry a sign for what was a clothing store that tried to be fashion forward with shock advertising and high prices. “The woman’s name, as I’ve already mentioned, was Linda and the huge red, black, and yellow sign that she carried was for the American Apparel store, located just around the corner on Granville Street. It read like an ad for a closing out sale: “Entire store 70-90% off…Nothing held back. Everything must go!”

“More than anything else this was a sign of just how desperate things have gotten for the American Apparel clothing chain, with the U.S. parent company now having filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in a little over a year.But it also arguably signalled the difficult economic plight of all the 20- and 30-somethings who staff these low-paying retail store jobs—if they’re lucky.I’ve been given to understand that quite a large number of well-educated millennials spend their days scrambling between various retail jobs and even lower-paying blue- and white-collar casual-labour jobs—apparently one e-transfer and a college degree away from being evicted and having to live on a friend’s couch—if they’re lucky.”



  1. One of the greatest advertising men of all time, David Ogilvie, who wrote: Confessions of an Advertising Man, called billboards man at his vilest; that he’d like to cycle around and destroy them.
    What would he have had to say about desperate people carrying around these revolting moving billboards?
    Advertising should be severely curtailed in our commons – bad enough the surfeit in every personal aspect of our lives – on the internet, in magazines, through our mail slots; an endless miasma inflicted on us; pollution of our aesthetic environment.
    Ban billboards and shoot down advertising planes.

    1. It is paradoxical that Sao Paulo, regarded by many as one of the ugliest cities in the world, finds billboards so ugly that they ban them, while Vancouver, which prides itself on being beautiful, is absolutely festooned – view corridors of billboards advertising rubbish.
      In dictatorships, the rulers have a penchant for putting up statues of themselves. With economic despotism, it’s billboards and advertising.
      Being broke is a corollary of economic despotism – slavery in a bully capitalist system – the Smug Minority oppressing people just trying to live.

  2. Next thing you know they’ll ban high schools kids from advertising their fundraiser car washes at the local gas station by jumping around with big signs.
    OMG – I’ll bet they don’t even get paid ANY salary!

  3. Kids should not be participating in these degrading fundraisers. Billionaires, the “Royals”, the Vatican – need to have their feet held to the fire. Greed is not good. It’s vile. They need to be shamed and ridiculed – made to pay up. Nobody needs a billion dollars. Children are taught to share. Billionaires haven’t got the lesson.
    Read: Who Owns the World. Those who own the world, by extension, own the people – servitude for life. If you’re not born into it, you’re mostly out of luck.
    Like one percenter Nick Hauer says in a Ted Talk: people are going to be coming with pitchforks.

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