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The Washington Minarat – A poorly designed public service advertisement currently on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority buses
|| 11/1/2008 || 5:06 pm || Comments Off on The Washington Minarat – A poorly designed public service advertisement currently on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority buses || ||

Friday afternoon I went with Liz Glover to the Huffington Post’s DC office to shoot a video with Jason Linkins. When we were done filming indoors, we went outside and shot some humorous man-on-the-street interviews around the White House. On the way back to the office, I spotted the advertisement above on the side of the WMATA bus and decided take a few photos.

Now I had read about a similar public awareness campaign related to rat abatement that compared DC to an unnamed metropolis, but this graphic takes the hilarity to a new level.

1) All praise the holy rat sun! After all, 2008 is the Year of the Rat! The rat is associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities. The rat’s sun will set January 25th, 2009, but I suspect they’ll stick around for the Ox.

2) Behold the Washington Minarat! Shaped similar to a campanile, there is a curious minaret to the left of the mighty sun rat. When did the Washington Monument transform itself into a part of a mosque? Did the graphic designer purposely exclude the Washington Monument? If the designer was trying to imitate the campanile at the Basilica Of The National Shrine Of The Immaculate Conception they did a very very poor job. Maybe they were mocking the war in Iraq? The first minaret was constructed in 665 in Basra, Iraq during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I.

3) Height restrictions are the answer! The reality is that the skyline of Wahsington, DC is mostly uniform without any building being taller the width of the street, plus twenty feet. This means that the varied skyline in the advertisement above does not represent Washington, DC, but most likely another unnamed metropolis.


Not photographed bonus advertisement on the back of the bus was a parody of the Got Milk? campaign, which asked the viewer “Got Syphilis?”



Later in the evening I went to a friend’s house who happened to have a fake rat. I decided to take a photo of the pointy kitty sitting on my leg. Some day I’d love to take that fake rat and add a small remote control car to the underside of it in order to create a rat than can “run” around.



Anyways, expect the interviews we filmed to be on-line shortly and in the meantime watch out for the rats.


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Post Title: The Washington Minarat – A poorly designed public service advertisement currently on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority buses
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