From Abbie Hoffman in the ’60s to Joe Isuzu in the ’80s

Abbie Hoffman’s recent death on April 12, 1989, is a reminder that much of the defiant energy of the 1960s has been channeled by American business advertisers to promote mass consumption. Hoffman was one of the leaders of the Yippies, ready to counter mainstream culture in politics and lifestyle. To defy the American military, he was ready to levitate the Pentagon, among other playful prankster plans. In his spirit, Joe Isuzu lives, selling cars by openly saying, “I’m lying.” Like Hoffman, he mocks hyped-up claims for the latest fancy car, but he’s got counterculture style without its bite. Joe Isuzu’s jokes are designed to encourage us to buy more goods.

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