There are stations and the stations have ads and that ads are, well, a little amateurish and darn good fun for this anthropologist and all the other marketing types who use this track to get to and from Madison Ave. Indeed, Metro North is to marketing what Australia is to evolution: the place were weird stuff happens…and that’s ok.
Take the ad I have photographed here. Accountant as super hero. Really? I mean, really? If there is a creature in the universe less like a super hero, it’s an accountant. Or so the stereotypes tell us. Totally unfair, of course. And for all we know some accountants live lives of real adventure. Enron accountants, do you think?
So it’s wrong to generalize this way, but it is also probably wrong to advertise…this way. Part of the problem is that this ad is trying too hard. A good ad is an act of metaphor. It transfer meaning from a world we know to a world we don’t. In this case, it invites us to transfer what we know about superheroes to what we know about accountants. (This is straight out of Aristotle.) But some acts of transfer are more possible than others.
But perhaps I am missing the "premise." In the strange world that is Metro North, a new physics may apply. In this world, superheros are just little less heroic. Accountants a lot more grand. And the two are close enough, transfer is possible.
I am on the West coast and running out of time. So this investigation of the cultural properties of alternate realities are going to have to wait for another occasion.