Now That’s Good Advertising
A short article in the New York Times Magazine recounts the hopes of a would-be Arab Spring revolutionary in Beirut. The piece paints a darkly comic portrait of the city after a long civil war with this nugget:
At the end of Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, in 1990, Beirut’s downtown was an apocalyptic scene of rubble and weeds, inhabited by squatters in skeletal buildings and bored soldiers moving among sewage-filled craters. The rare splash of color came from the blue advertisements for a billboard company that read: “What do our boards have in common with the C.I.A.? They’re both all over the place.” In the two decades since then, Beirut has become a monument to globalism, home to Louis Vuitton, Chanel and the priciest hotels, the power of capitalism concealing but never really healing the war’s scars.