Tag Archives: ad

Violence And The Feminine Mystique (This Is Why We Can’t Have Terrible Things)

Well, readers, it’s another sweltering day in June, and here in the trenches of the culture war accusations of “misogyny” and “political correctness” are being fired back and forth. And what’s that out there in the middle of the no-man’s land? Well, it’s the photo that started this latest skirmish:

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Image retrieved via Telegraph.com, fair use

That right there folks is a billboard for X-Men: Apocalypse, and it’s got more than a few people upset. So much so, in fact, it’s being reported that Fox has issued an apology for the ad– caving to arguments made by some that the advertisement promotes misogyny.

And in all fairness, they are some compelling arguments.

Now ads featuring violence towards women exist, as evidenced in Jean Kilbourne’s famous documentary Killing Us Softly. Critics of this ad have cited (though I am paraphrasing for the sake of space) that the inundation of these images in our society leads to the normalization of violence. Show enough ads featuring women getting choked out and people will start assuming that it’s the natural way of the world.

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Image retrieved via BusinessInsider.com, fair use

Even if the person doing the choking is the bad guy (and Apocalypse is), the simple fact that it’s a yet another man committing an act of force on a women should be enough to elicit outrage from us all.

Like I said- a compelling argument.

Let me tell you why it’s bull****. Continue reading

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Freedom Socialist Party Offers $13 An Hour (This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things)

We’ve already talked about Kshama Sawant. Elected to Seattle’s city council in 2013, Sawant’s victory marked one of the greatest comebacks in American socialism- or at least, Americans’ openness to socialism- in a long time. While her endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders resulted in snide “I told ya so’s” from the radical left (for whom happiness is counterrevolutionary), everything was going relatively well. An open Marxist had been elected without the sky falling and in spite of the griping of its opponents, the $15 an hour minimum wage in the city of SeaTac appears to be promoting growth, rather than stifling it.

And then this happened:

Socialists Push For $20 Minimum Wage But Won’t Pay Workers That Much

…Yeah. Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Movies in General

EVAN: Human beings and animals that have somehow taught themselves how to read English, welcome to another E&GT. This week Gordon and I have come off of a mini-hiatus, and as a result are just a tad rusty.

As a result we will be discussing the very broad topic of movies, devoting a portion of our time to each one. Gordon is going to be starting us off with . . .

GORDON: The big screen experience.

If you’ve been to theaters recently (no, Evan, it is NOT spelled “theatre”), you may have noticed a series of ads harping on how “some things just weren’t meant for a small screen.”

“Spectacle” is the term for it. How much is it integral to movies and the movie-going experience? Do we really lose anything by watching a movie on our TVs rather than in front of the big screen? Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Fat People

EVAN: Alright, ladies and gents, tonight Gordon and I are going to talk about a subject that may just help blot out the memory that was Man of Steel, and that is: fat people.

It was his suggestion, so I’m going to pass things off to him and get the ball rolling [no pun intended].

GORDON: More specifically, it’s the treatment we seem to offer the overweight in this country. I’m guessing you’ve seen at least one heftier person riding around the aisles of a grocery store in those little scooter things.

EVAN: Not so much here in Canada, but yes, they are indeed around. Again, no pun intended. Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Facebook and Privacy

EVAN: So in spite of the fact that I voted for my topic of preference on last week’s poll, Facebook and privacy and whatnot won. Having bitterly admitted that, Gordon?

GORDON: While the topic of Facebook (or all social networking) and privacy certainly isn’t a new debate, it’s not one that’s lost its relevance either.

As we rely on the internet more and more as our primary means of communication and entertainment, how do we address the issue of having every little element of our lives dissected and sold to the highest bidder?-

EVAN: I mean, really, everyone has been the target more or less of having their information used by Facebook. Log on and check out those sidebar ads; every one has been tailored using the cookies of sites you’ve visited. Which is why mine are always StarCraft related, etc.

GORDON: First thing we gotta ask is- “Is this really a problem? Aint it better to have ads that are actually relevant to you, rather than yet another ****ing insurance commercial courtesy of Geico?”

EVAN: Ugh, Geico. How many ad campaigns can a single company have?

EVAN: Moving disgustedly along, that’s a very relevant point. I’m interested in video games, so to have sidebar ads about such things is not something I can really complain about.

GORDON: I’ve got a pretty aggressive adblock, so I’m fortunate enough not to have to deal with that; but the underlying assumption with that kind of thought is that ads are inevitable. That you can’t get away from ’em, so you might as well try to get ones you like…

EVAN: Which is why, as you well know, I only thumbs up a select number of ad types on Hulu. Food, alcohol, video games, and certain movies.

GORDON: But with Hulu- you are the person in control. I mean, think of it this way: would you tolerate a guy going through your garbage so he can send you junk mail tailored to you?

EVAN: I’ve gotta think about that for a second . . . I mean, not getting junk mail about window/door services would be nice.

The whole “going through your garbage” thing definitely carries some different associations then simply tracking cookies. Maybe it’d be more like- a TV guy who follows you around when you shop, noting what you are and aren’t interested in.

GORDON: But that’s also flawed- in that scenario, you’re actually looking for stuff to buy….

EVAN: Well, you window shop, I mean- browsing, etc. Looking at what you look at, that sort of thing.

GORDON: So I’ve got this obnoxious guy following me wherever I go, listening in on my every word, and trying to sell me his wares without rest. Isn’t that one of the ironic punishments in Dante’s Inferno?

EVAN: Bringing this back to Facebook and whatnot, do we in general have a problem with the ads? I mean, they’re not the most obtrusive to begin with.

GORDON: Well, ads are only one example. What about your location?

EVAN: People want that stuff, though. It’s part of this new generation, tweeting where you are, statuses that read “I just had lunch with ______ at ______.”

GORDON: I’m not talking about when you state your location, I’m talking about when your location is pinpointed and used regardless of your awareness. Sexy Singles in Houghton being a prime example.

EVAN: Heh.

For context, Houghton is where we both attended college. It is so small it is not considered a town. It is a hamlet.

GORDON: The majority of the population- vast majority- is made up of the student body.

EVAN: Vast majority.

GORDON: Meaning that the town decreases by about 80% each summer.

EVAN: But those ads are all the same- they’re just slapping a different town [or hamlet] name onto whatever’s being advertised.

GORDON: But are you really okay with that? That not only your interests are out there, but your location as well? Regardless of your consent?

EVAN: As far as I can tell, it’s more eerie than anything else. And it goes from creepy to laughable when something like “Sexy Singles in Houghton” comes up.

GORDON: Now, as you are in Canada, this might not sound as relevant to your situation- but what about the gummint’ commin’ t’get’ ya?

I mean, there have been issues here in the States,  huge issues, with companies turning over personal information- including conversations- to law enforcement and security agencies without much (if any) process.

EVAN: Heh. “Gummint.” But yeah, that stuff has definitely happened. And seriously, what Facebook does with our personal information is very important.

GORDON: I guess it’s more or less the same for me- though I was a bit older, and having grown up in Syria (where they eventually blocked Facebook)- I never put anything on there I didn’t assume everyone could and would read.

Still do. Or don’t, rather.

EVAN: It’s interesting in that privacy settings are so much more advanced now though, in a way. If you don’t want people looking at even your profile pictures you can do that. Meaning that potential employers can’t use it as a legitimate check on future employees anymore.

GORDON: Now that  is messed up. We can all agree on that.

EVAN: Hm?

GORDON: Employers attempting to maintain control over their workers by monitoring their FB profiles, citing “character” as a reason or justification.

EVAN: Ah, that’s what you were getting at. So to some extent we’re in control of an aspect of our privacy on Facebook.

GORDON: No question. But speaking in a more general sense, what does that do to us as a people? As a society?

EVAN: Well, I for one am incensed when I want to look at a pretty girl’s profile pictures, and even though she clearly has them, I’m told that “there are no pictures in this album.” Bold-faced lies.

GORDON: You’re a pervert.

EVAN: My point stands.

GORDON: So we’re more dishonest with each other? We’re still ironing out the wrinkles in our old-world/cyber-world blend?

EVAN: Are we more dishonest with each other? I mean, if we’re really deconstructing this, the internet has made us more dishonest than we’ve ever been ever.

GORDON: Explain.

EVAN: Nothing we put online is necessarily true. Dating website profiles back me up on this.

GORDON: This is true. Are we then actually more skeptical and guarded despite the critics’ claims?

EVAN: Which are-

GORDON: The general spiel- the internet (social networking especially) is playing on our trust and making us more and more exposed for those who would make money off of us.

EVAN: Ah. Vulnerable, etc. I gotcha.

I’d say people in general are still naive enough to fall for obviously stupid ads [if they didn’t work they wouldn’t still be around]. But we are more skeptical as a generation, so really both are true.

GORDON: Fair enough.

EVAN: And we are exactly out of time.

GORDON: Remember to stop by next week for our discussion on the upcoming season of Community.

EVAN: Yes. It’s gonna be good. And I already know you’re going to end this with that Troy/Abed gif.

GORDON: I am indeed.