We Built This City On A Robust Thesaurus

You know how developers like to oversell projects? Sometimes they might have a video piece with a bunch of irony-free copy and pat, stock images. Yes?

Looking back on these can be fun — they're time capsules from a different era. Here's a portion of a promotional film featuring Shea Stadium, for example:

More recent examples show the limits of what stadia and arenas can really do for a municipality. Toledo's Huntington Center merits about 31 seconds worth of excitement, for example:

As time goes on, these promotional videos look fairly ridiculous. And then there's this promotional spot for the Barclays Center, which already looks ridiculous (via):

It sounds like it was written with the thesaurus on the high-treble setting. Some of the highlights:

0:06 "Brooklyn, the word itself resonates — it is a lifestyle it is an attitude." Except that "Brooklyn," the word itself I mean, is a little clunky — especially when it's only two syllables, the last of which you sort of swallow at the end. "Toledo," on the other hand, really does resonate: It's like when Humbert Humbert sang the mellifluousness of "Lo-lee-ta" . . . "To-lee-do: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. To. Lee. Do." Brooklyn? Not so much . . . and like so much of the rest of this video, it sort of ruins it once you call something "a lifestyle" and "an attitude."

0:36 "The transformation of its residential and business areas has prepared this great borough for an even greater future: It has prepared Brooklyn for the Barclays Center." I suppose you could call what happened "a transformation" though I imagine some might object to the euphemism.

0:57 ". . . all to achieve a cultural and environmental synergy." Again with the thesaurus . . .

1:18 ". . . the next great Brooklyn landmark providing all those who visit the opportunity for a truly landmark experience." A "landmark" experience? Now this is just starting to sound like the summer intern's first draft . . .

1:46 "The Barclays Center will be more than just a venue, it will be a destination." See 0:57 and 1:18 above.

2:02 "Brooklynites will be able to stand proud behind its new landmark venue." I know this is just intern gibberish, but the symbol of Brooklynites standing proud behind something is interesting, no? Why not "next"? Or is this a veiled dig at the people who live behind the arena?

2:19 The montage that begins "getting to the Barclays Center couldn't be easier" sort of looks like an Al Qaeda planning session. Creepy.

3:13 "A perfect mix of the now, the then and the next that you will only be able to capture at the Barclays Center." I like the rhetorical balance of "now" "then" and "next" — now if I could only figure out what it could possibly mean, and more importantly, understand why I will only be able to capture it at the Barclays Center . . .

Posted: March 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: FW: Link | Tags: , , , , , , ,