Sunday, September 19, 2010

Advertising: Get the Man Out!

Advertising forms the basis for much of what is deemed mainstream and acceptable culture in Western society. Advertising is everywhere, all the time. Drive down the road and you'll see billboards. Listen to the radio and you'll hear ads. Watch TV and you'll see ads. Mostly what the ads push is a new model of male behavior and identity. Which is, gay or asexual to the point of androgynous idiocy. The message being that traditional masculine behavior is threatening.




While the ad may serve as a parodic insight into what most of the SWPL class view the world, an "unthreatening place," where natural instincts are obliterated by the power of SWPL-ism, pay attention to the singer (and the song). Lost is any real musical power, any sense of the natural world. The beat is a drum machine, tinny sounding and as natural as artificial sweetener. The singer has all the masculine presence of a ten year old boy. Because, again, traditional men, just by existing, are threatening.

Then of course, there is the ATT commercial:



Apparently, ATT wants to put a giant orange burqua over every single building and monument (and even the sea-shore) in anticipation of Islam being the official religion of the US. In a tribute to Christo, famous for, well wrapping large buildings in what amounts to a burqua. Pre-emptive artistic surrender.

The music is of course, so devoid of any masculine identity as to be totally "unthreatening," and is the work of the late recording artist Nick Drake, a very sad case. Described by a friend as "the most withdrawn person he'd ever met, Drake had reportedly no sexual or romantic relationships in his life.

While his work has been cited by many as the inspiration for their own (much like the quip about the Velvet Underground, they sold only a few thousand records but everyone who bought a record started their own band), including R.E.M. and the Cure, the question is, why did the producers of this commercial choose this particular recording by this particular artist?

Because the song is so devoid of identity that it signifies, nothing at all. Not even a trace of a desire, to do or be anything, remains in the song or the performance. The commercial is all about a politically correct number of "diverse" and multi-cultural individuals witnessing the the burqua-ization of America, complete with breathy, non-masculine singer who sings about … nothing.

This is not isolated, InMalafide.com has a post on "So You Want to be a Dickhead" (very definitely not safe for work). Video below:



Much like the Gay Hipster Fight seen in the video below, traditional masculine behavior seems to have vanished among young urban, middle class men:



Gay or androgynous is apparently, the new mandate for men. Traditional masculine behavior is so absent from advertising that its shocking to compare commmercials from the 1980's. Check out this Miller Lite commercial from 1987 with Yogi Berra and Jason Alexander:



Or this bizarre ad (with John Madden and Sonny Bono):



It would seem that traditional masculine attitudes, behavior, like the 1995 Microsoft Windows 95 launch video:



simply don't apply to today's, hipster-only, masculine models. No one ever accused Mick Jagger of possessing Jessie "the Body" Ventura levels of testosterone, but the song accompanying the video pretty much is the message. Start up Windows 95 and you're full of energy. The song and the singer are about something. Which is, doing something (the video is full of images of people doing things, message, Windows 95 makes you productive).

Advertising is filled with the kind of hipsters (and very, multicultural, diverse people, mostly women and non-Whites) that cannot connect with middle America anymore, and certainly find traditional masculine energy both threatening and slightly obscene. This is why traditional masculine behavior is so absent in commercials, and the mass culture has been defined towards some passive, folky-rock with acoustic guitar, meaningless nothing.

Each individual commercial is of course nothing, but the media culture that is inescapable, from billboards to radio to TV to print to the web, makes the cumulative effect like a series of raindrops forming a river. Eating away at the traditional notions of what culture and cultural roles are, in an attempt to "start from Zero."

Traditional masculinity of course, is threatening. It is independent, resistant to "taming" and won't allow others to dominate it (though it will submit to authority if persuaded its wise). The same holds true of course, for traditional feminine identity, which is not "submissive" or "barefoot and pregnant" and is matchingly independent, but does not seek to dominate either, the other sex, out of fear. From women-inspired "skinny jeans" to figures like Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz maintaining he is "half gay", it is striking at how lacking in masculine assertiveness most of popular culture really is.

And this contains within it, a possibly fatal weakness for the West. When in time of great crisis, it is absolutely essential for a culture's or nation's survival for men and women to act. Independently, and aggressively if required. Not the breathy, passiveness of "look see the sights" but with the energy of "Start Me Up." If a hurricane comes, and people are stranded in a city, they need rescuing. A government, be it local, state, or federal, will be hamstrung by procedures and rules and so on, and it takes a Dunkirk-like evacuation to rescue people. The same holds true for war, which has not been abolished, any more than human nature. Or low-level conflict involving crime, ethnic cleansing, or any other ills that beset a now globally connected, constantly changing society. Change bringing stress and conflict along with increased riches.

The lack of being or standing for much of anything other than the message of "I'm Cool and You're Not" is why so many commercials are inexplicable, incomprehensible, and do such a lousy job of selling whatever it is they are selling. ATT promises … a burqua for every building? Traveler's Insurance promises a fantasy land where animals don't eat each other? At least Miller Lite had a message: drink this and you're one of the guys, like the funny male celebrities. It is striking how much power corporations have handed over to advertising agencies run by disconnected hipsters. The only rational explanation is that corporate executives are too, disconnected and stand for nothing. As children of the 1960's and 1970's, who had their formative years in the mid to late 1980's to early 1990's wave of political correctness, have the masculine or feminine identities knocked out of them. Being "half gay" or the like.

This is why it is essential to change the advertising environment. There is just so much of it, and the messages about what is approved and what is not (in: gay hipsterism, out: traditional masculinity) so powerful by simple repetition, that deep cultural change can only come about by changing how ads are made and distributed.




11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, seems to me if you went by what you saw in ads on television at least 80% of the population of this country would be black and female. Ain't right and never will be. When will advertisers ever learn.

Thrasymachus said...

I wouldn't read too much into that Traveler's commercial- I always thought it was just a dumb CGI thing as an excuse to put cute animals up. I didn't even know- or care- what it was for.

I don't think masculinity is dead. It's underground, but far from dead. Read "War" by Sebastian Junger- those guys are way hardcore, even if they are Army.

Anonymous said...

Masculinity ain't dead yet, at least not by the way these young girls I work with talk.
But it sure ain't what it was 20 years ago. It's a pretty wimpy crowd I see with the gals, the late 40s guys and up definitely have a quality edge here.
I heard the sperm count is way down, and I can believe it.

Anonymous said...

Only white men are wimpy.

Blacks are still VERY masculine.

Anonymous said...

at least some of the video game commerials are still good. Like the one for left for dead 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqBBet5qW8E

aaah the irony

jimbo said...

"Blacks are still VERY masculine."

Check out that link to the Gay Hipster Fight, and who ends up breaking it up.

Whiskey said...

Kanye West has had repeated accusations about his sexuality, see the Pete Wentz "Out" link. The "gay fish" episode of South Park did not take place in a vacuum.

Meanwhile, Lil Wayne and other rappers preface every rap video with preening in front of the mirror with "no homo." On the down-low is a constant refrain for Blacks, the real rate of Black homosexuality is much larger than it would appear because of community disdain for gays at large. Eddie Murphy (who later was arrested with two trans-sexual prostitutes in his car that he claimed were going to mow his law, at midnight), was famous for angering gays with anti-gay comedy routines.

But yes, Blacks are allowed culturally to express masculine behavior that White men are not, in commercials, in TV series, and in movies.

Outsourcing said...

Because of this things going on an ad I think they forgot to deliver the message that they have to deliver on their target audience.

Sean said...

Since, as you've noted many times, white men don't watch much TV anymore, this shouldn't make much difference. Commercials like this may provide comforting feedback for women and SWPLs.

The way to combat this kind of brainwashing is simply to point it out. Once a person sees what is going on, it is all rather obvious.

Anonymous said...

Off topic - whiskey you need to see this.

Directed by Richard Curtis. It made me think of the article you recently wrote about how women love violence from alphas.

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