Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A few things to do while filling your tank....

My friend and loyal Red Electric reader Mike Ponder sends this story about the latest screen intrusion into our lives—this time coming to your neighborhood gasoline pump.

Mike's alert came to me as I have been studying the Transcendentalists, who would certainly wonder about one question raised by the San Francisco Chronicle article about FuelCast Media Network and its ilk.

FuelCast, a Los Angeles (of course) firm is forcing hundreds of thousands of motorists to watch TV ads beamed right from gas pumps equipped with in-your-face monitors.

Gary LePon, executive vice president of FuelCast, is hardly a modern-day Emerson or Thoreau but his words prompt larger, deeper questions: "There's not much else to do while you're filling your tank. This gives you something to do while you're waiting."

Something to do while you're waiting....

I don't know about you, but I've never had trouble finding something to do while at the gas pump.

I usually have a book or newspaper handy. There's the radio to be listened to. You can always talk to a person next to you, if one is handy.

My interior (my own and my car's) can always use tidying up.

Thinking is an option, as Thoreau and Emerson remind us.

If that's not possible, a tree is usually available for contemplation...and inspiration. Birds, particularly sparrows, often frequent gas stations. I even remember times when I have struck up conversations with service attendants. We still have those here in Oregon.

It's a good thing too, especially if Mr. LePon and his hucksters have their way, as I am certain they will. We can politely tell the attendants to shut off FuelCast's bleating TV monitors.

And if they don't, or, as is more likely, can't ("I just work here.")?

Well, look at the bright side. They and the LePons of the world could be doing everyone a favor without knowing it.

Maybe video muggings at the gas pump will persuade us to do what we should be doing anyway—driving less, and a lot sooner.

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Blogger ponder said...

I don't know what the greater compliment is; being a friend of the Red Electric blogmaster or being a loyal reader. Thanks for your always enjoyable thought-provoking posts. I'm sure Emerson & Thoreau would consider you a "like" mind... MTP

9:09 PM  

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