Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life on the "Beautiful" Mississippi

Here is a sign you'll find welcoming you to Wabasha, MN:
A couple of things strike me about this billboard. First, that it's a "treasure chest of leisure living." What exactly does that mean? Why use the metaphor of "treasure chest" when others would be more poignant and more effective? But more significantly, I find the qualification of "beautify Mississippi" rather disconcerting. With the quotation marks, is the town being ironic here? If part of the "treasure" of living in Wabasha is enjoying water sports--which the sign seems to suggest--then would you really want to swim and fish in a river that's "beautiful"? Think about it, won't you?

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