With Los Angeles just seven years away in real calendar terms from the fake version of the city showcased in Blade Runner, Matt Novak at Smithsonian magazine’s Paleofuture blog decided it was high time to take billboard stock.
The best part of his post is the stuff about how Los Angeles fought non-electronic billboard proliferation in the late 1920s. The city fared about as well as it has this time around in the face of electronic displays and so-called super-graphics adorning the sides of office buildings. Writes Novak:
Today, with digital billboard technology becoming commonplace, local governments all over the country have been fighting advertisers with outright bans. Cities claim that these relatively new forms of outdoor advertising are ugly and distract drivers. Of course, these were the exact claims that the opponents of billboard advertising were making in the early 20th century…
It’s tough to say just how hard the city of Los Angeles will clamp down on the proliferation of billboards — be they digital or merely huge — but for the time being Angelenos will likely remain just this side of a branded Blade Runner future. With just seven years until 2019, it seems legislation and litigation will be the only thing keeping Los Angeles from achieving full bladerunner.