Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I’d like to see a scrutinizing, inquisitive conversation take place about this: From where do we receive this conventional wisdom that, if you want to unload palettes and palettes of your crap, a sure-fire sales technique is to offer a family portrait of the matriarch cracking the whip and yanking the putz back in line? What gets that going? What keeps it going?
The obvious answer is “It must work, because if it didn’t work we wouldn’t keep seeing it.” Okay. I’m sure it must work; why does it work?
“Why” is a special word. A what, when, where and a who are all usually answered by means of a singularity. You point to one thing and there’s your answer. Why is more complex; many factors often contribute to a why, and I’m open to the idea that this is the case here. People buy more crap when they see a woman ordering a man around.
I notice whenever I’m seeing it in action, logic is somehow disconnected. Here I’ll walk you through what I mean: Simply take this spot at face value. PowerPoint is a software product facilitating a medium of communication that is so powerful, so persuasive, that it can get you anything you want…unless you’re the man of the house, in which case, it won’t. That’s the product. So the maker of the product is putting on an ad that says the product only works a part of the time. Family men are outside the market that the advertiser is trying to reach. Uh, really? Who buys software? Is this an attempt to reach out to a younger audience? Get the academic editions of the software titles moving off the shelves? Color me skeptical; I don’t think the average college student is too excited about his mom telling his dad that dad can’t play golf.
Another place the logic breaks down: When our current President uses it. Just listen to Him, He does it all the time. Can’t make it all the way through a speech without it, it seems. Michelle won’t let Me do this, Michelle makes Me do that, better not let Michelle catch me in this…again, we have a “huh, what?” moment. Did this guy just get elected to the presidency because He’s supposed to be “sort of God” or something? What a sloppy, disconnected illusion we have here. Barack Obama is above everybody, we’re all better people because He’s our President and He’s just a little slice of perfection…things become right instantly when Barack Obama says He’s behind them…infinite authority and all…but Michelle Obama tells the deity to jump and He says, how high? Okay then, if that all fits then I guess Michelle Obama is really in charge of the universe. Why didn’t we just elect her?
Current operating theory — and not exactly going out on a limb: This has nothing to do with anybody anywhere except family females. Somewhere there is some research, and perhaps some marketing experience to back it up, that chicks will open their purses faster if you run this simple idiom past them. It’s not true of any females I know personally, but then again, I have no idea how many females are like that because when I get a clue that a female is like that I stay as far away from her as I possibly can. I figure they want me to. So I’m in a bit of a weak spot if I rely on anecdotal evidence, I personally don’t have much. What I do have is from many years ago, before I learned who I needed to avoid. I’ve been in a committed relationship for seven years. For all I know, maybe nearly all women are of this vinegar-over-honey, Rueben-Rueben-I’ve-been-thinking, fish-needs-a-bicycle mindset. I have to approach this with humility; a lot could be going on without me knowing about it. Actually, that’s got a lot to do with why I’m asking the question.
But is this really well thought out? Selling computer software to women who hate men. Why do they need computer software? They Facebook, they tweet, they text on their phones to other man-bashing females, if they need something done apart from that they just order their schmuck to get it to work on the computer and they start yelling at him if he doesn’t get it done. Then they watch Twilight or Sex in the City or something. Seriously, why would they need PowerPoint?
I find it sensible to speculate some executive somewhere got a vision. Sales of this product are down among women age such-and-such to such-and-such. Advertising agency, what can you do about this? Advertising agency says, when we want to ratchet up activity in that particular demographic, we do this…and presto. It fits. Over the last fifteen to twenty or years or so, there’s been this creepy trend where if you buy something that costs more than fifty bucks they want to know all about you. Annual income, approximate age, zip code, industry…please help us complete our survey…blah blah blah…and I just have this dim fuzzy recollection that this is the time span during which we’ve seen more of this “look at her order him around” trope.
Women of sound, capable mind, everywhere, should get really pissed about this. They should revolt. I would. I can tell you from personal, albeit filtered, experience that there are a lot of women who do not think this way. They don’t find it charming when Obama makes up stories about being ordered around by His ol’ lady, they don’t buy more junk from someone whose ads tell stories about female dominance, and they damn sure don’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of gelded, hairless males standing around waiting to be told what to do.
Someone, somewhere, is operating from a repository of research that isn’t very well married-up to reality. Or, if it is married-up to reality and some correlation has been found between diminishing men and moving merchandise, we must have some man-bashing females running around spending money to buy stuff without any understanding of what it’s supposed to do. I’ve used PowerPoint. I’ve met women who get that emotional thrill out of the idea of men being passive and ineffectual. I have trouble seeing the two go together — lots of trouble. Not that PowerPoint is hard to use. But from my own tidbits of anecdotal knowledge, it would be like a pot-bellied pig using a blender or something.
The cool thing about teevee ads, is you can tell whether they succeed or fail based on whether you keep seeing them. I think we’ll see more teevee ad females ordering around their hubbies…but this particular one, I believe, is not long for the world. I think it’s a fail. But I’m not sure of this at all; time will tell.
Update: Thinking about this some more…there’s a much bigger phenomenon taking place here, involving corporate America bringing products and services to market packaged with messages that involve cheap mindless gimmicks. The gimmicks are becoming more valuable in the marketplace of ideas, if & when they demand very little by way of empathy or critical thinking. In effect: The producers/marketers insult the consumers of the products by portraying them in flat, simplistic ways, and then the consumers reward the marketers for this by buying their crap.
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