Monster marketing

The fact that the so-called Montauk Monster is likely a marketing gimmick says something – something about bloat and spectacle and species discovery mediated by gossip blogs – but I’m not sure what. There’s an episode of The Simpsons in which the owners of a new mall plant a hoax angel skeleton as a publicity stunt. The entire town believes it’s real. When Springfield learns the truth, Lisa says to the mall owners, “You exploited people’s deepest beliefs just to hawk your cheesy wares? Well, we are outraged!” She turns to Chief Wiggum and asks, rhetorically, “Aren’t we?”

Wiggum replies, “Oh. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we’re outraged. Very, uh – very much so. But look at all the stores! A Pottery Barn!”

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