Re: “Pharaoh had his pyramids, Trump wants a wall,” Have Your Say, January 4.
Somsak Pola has a great idea in suggesting that the US should make something special out of the border wall, like a monument, a tourist attraction, or an American cultural icon.
I have a suggestion that embodies all three. America doesn’t need a wall. It needs a giant billboard that doubles as a wall.
Yes! I envision a Great Billboard Barrier (GBB) on the US southern border: 5,000 kilometres of 9-metre-high billboard, made of good American steel, completely electrified, and divided into segments advertising American products.
The billboard is a richly iconic symbol of American culture, right up there with the hotdog, the baseball cap, and the Frisbee as a reminder of what makes America great. A billboard barrier on our southern border will stand as an inspiring monument to the American entrepreneurial spirit and the glories of capitalism.
No longer will Mexico be required to pay for a wall designed to keep Mexicans out. The GBB will be self-financing. Giant American corporations like McDonald’s, KFC, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft will vie to pay for segments on which to advertise their products. This will send an encouraging message to the hordes of aspiring immigrants huddled at our southern border: We won’t let you in, but you can still buy our stuff. Mexicans in some sectors will wake up to see Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders smiling down on them. In other sectors they will gaze in awe upon the genial faces of American heroes like Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
Since the Great Billboard Barrier will be electrified, anybody who tries to climb it, penetrate it, deface it or even touch it will become instant toast. The fried corpses piled up at its base will serve as a sobering deterrent to any criminals foolish enough to try to breach it.
Best of all, perhaps, it will be an irresistible tourist attraction for citizens of all nations.