Landscapes of Global Capital
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Feed the children
Corporate paternalism
The cure
High tech classroom
Child prodigy
The obnoxious visionary
Unfettered imagination
We care
Harmonious music
Cynicism of legitimation
You can't buy love
Harmony of technology

Children are an integral part of multi-racial multi-cultural montages. For example, in the GE campaign "We bring good things to light" the upbeat lyrics promote GE products and services.

Singer: What are we doin' here?
what is perfectly clear
we bring good things to life
we're bringin' you power hour by hour over the borderline.
What are we doin' here?
saving lives by the light
What are we doin' here?
power systems day and night
What are we doin' here?
we bring good things to all the world
We bring good things to life
What are we doin' here?
way up in the air
we're helping the world go round
helping to make it a better place
right from our own hometown
What are we doin' here?
transportation, innovation
What are we doin' here?
engine testing, communication
What are we doin' here?
We bring good things to life.

Children are interspersed through the ad smiling, running, posing for the camera. The commercial ends with a child giving a thumbs-up as she exists an MRI machine. This commercial blend stereotypical global signifiers such as the Great Wall of China, bathing elephants in India, the canals of Venice, camels of North Africa, etc. Shots of GE workers and GE technology mix with shots of global personage exhibiting exuberant gestures of affection and appreciation. Imprinted on uniforms of workers and on technology the GE logo is visible in 13 shots in the ad. The fast paced editing and the heightened movement within each shot creates a sense that GE is a dynamic engaged corporation with a global presence. Texaco, Microsoft, DuPont, Dow, Siemens, and many other corporations use the upbeat global montage. It is a standard format eliding corporate presence with global harmony. Children always play prominent roles in these montages. How can one criticize the practices of corporations that provide essential products to the world, promote harmony, and improve the quality of life for children? This exaggerated upbeat format erodes any critical ground. The technological system in which persons, technology, and technique form a monistic whole under the auspices of the beneficent corporation is in Jacque Ellul's sense, total, both spatially and systemically. At least representationally, the technical apparatus spreads to the most remote territories harmoniously integrating them into a global technological system.

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© Copyright 1998-2003
Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey