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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

So fuckthepostpolitical has again taken the axe to the Gruen Transfer…it’s a great post and well worth reading.

One further point for me though: where dredgirl says that it comes off as simply a chance for bigshot ad execs to tell us what works and what doesn’t, I wholeheartedly agree…except that they don’t even engage in this properly. Their answers as to why a particular ad works/doesn’t work are glib, smug, devoid of much in the way of content and far too short and self congratulatory: “because it does” is delivered with a smug-cocky-aren’t-I-so-very-very-urbane-in-my-lime-green-shirt look (so urbane that I don’t need to answer the question). Well fucking duh dipshit! We know it does work…any punter could have told us that…and if it didn’t we wouldn’t need the show in the first place. But your JOB on the panel is to delve into how or why…

I mean even leaving aside the expectation that it might actually ‘take a scalpel to the advertising industry’, even accepting the limitation that they will not engage in the social implications of their ads and the images they use, the fears, prejudices and desires they play into…just talk to us about responses to colours, surveys that show what people respond to that make you pick particular things ton include in an ad to make sure it works. Even in their evading of any critical engagement with the effects of their craft they come off as condesceding twats too important to discuss anything in any detail.

To discuss semiotics in advertising need not mean dirtying their hands with political discussion or context…they could, if they so chose, discuss but it only got a two second mention! In one single ad in one single episode…

So…if they’re going to *avoid* acknowledging political implications by simply discussing what is at work in advertising…well do that, and do it properly.

It actually feels like what is going on is an attempt to present this panel as ‘objective neutral experts’ with all the heft such a stance grants in this society: I’m the rich white expert, mostly male, token female just to prove to you if you’ve got a problem, it’s all yours and nothing to do with me: “I’m just stating facts honey pie, get in the kitchen and cook me a pie – in your undies in front of my mates…and don’t eat any tub-o-lard” .

Are they ‘experts’ in advertising? Sure. Are they sharing this expertise? Nope. Are they enlightening us? Nope. Are they discussing the tricks of the trade in any meaningful way? Nope.

And by presenting themselves and their opinions as neutral and objective (when in actual fact their viewpoints are vested, political and context specific in the extreme) by noting and glossing over the sexism in ads, and then cracking funnies about it…it’s reinforcing that this shit is funny, is not to be taken seriously, has no ‘real’ political implications, is not to be engaged with and critiqued, it’s entertainment, it’s fodder for money making, and now it’s apparently smart and anyone who takes offence is a whiney snivelling little pussy who needs to harden the fuck up. If you’re offended, that’s your personal psychological affliction, cos we are not here to discuss that pansy left wing crap…this is the real world…of advertising, cocaine and designer clothing. Fuck off with that crap.

On the one hand they’re not going into the social implications of what they make a packet doing…cos OHNOES that would be a political act/boring/not funny…but they are erasing the politics of making ads that sell us images of what femininity is, what sexuality should be, who is allowed to have it and how, ads with no racial diversity, ads which sell certain attitudes and make disrespect ‘funny’…erasing the politics of the act of them making sexist, homophobic, racist jokes and expecting that we’ll sit here and take it since our opinion doesn’t fucking count anyway. Gaarghh!

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