Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moff's Law

I am sick and confined to the house and so after a few weeks of detaching I am reading Jezebel again. I know. The quality of commenter has declined so precipitously since.. I don't know - the facebook thing? The editorial change-over? Some critical mass point that leaves me drowning in morons and people who just realized that sexism exists? I don't know. Here's a few choice samplings from assholes today:

Joshtastic 02:07 PM

Aren't we just making mountains out of mole-hills? I mean come on! Especially the Amazon Mom one: I feel like they explained their name clearly and fairly and you can't please everyone.

Advertisers are only doing what is in their best interests. The portrayal of the Mom as a domestic caregiver is something I think many mothers can relate to - those women are the advertiser's demographic. I really don't think advertisers care about reinforcing gender stereotypes they just want to sell cleaning products.

Yes, that's right. Looking at advertising is a total waste of time and energy because it couldn't possible have something to say about mainstream gender roles and societal reinforcement. You can't please everyone! So why even bother trying! Advertisers are motivated strictly and solely by money - they're machines! They have no dog in this fight - why on earth would they ever want to make women or men feel inadequate or plug them into convenient gender pigeon holes? NO IDEA!

Or this:

they call me ginger 12:12 PM

Why are we holding companies to this huge moral standard? The job of advertisements are to make products sell. They have every financial motivation to make sure that their ads target the right audience. iphone apps about meal planning targeting women don't cause gender roles, they reflect gender roles. Most people who would buy meal planning apps are women. And why in the world should the app manufacturer waste money advertising to targets that aren't as receptive to their products? To make the world appear to be more equal (when in fact it isn't any more equal, regardless of the number of dads in parenting commercials)? Well, when companies can start paying their bills with sunshine and hugs, maybe then they can start targeting inefficient demographics.

Followed later by this:

they call me ginger 03:56 PM

@Hiroine Protagonist: Well, no, because I don't actually think that efficient, targeting marketing is immoral, so I don't really think that they need to change. But everyone seems to just be making the implicit assumption that ads need to change, need to portray men and target men as an equal part of the parenting/cleaning sector. I really don't understand why we are holding corporations to that standard without articulating as much - and then a conversation can be had about whether we want to be a society that values inefficiency and the appearance of equality over efficiency and realism. But it's a lot more fun to flip through magazines and watch daytime tv and get angry about windex commercials.

I have a serious question. What the fuck is wrong with these people. This dude said it so much better (he was talking about looking at racist tropes in movies and this is about sexist tropes in advertising but they are both mediums for the message):

Moff's law

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”

If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making — even if the thought was, “I’m going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible”! — and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception. That is why, among other things, artists (including, for instance, James Cameron) really like to talk about their work.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to think about a work of art. I don’t know anyone who thinks every work they encounter ought to only be enjoyed through conscious, active analysis — or if I do, they’re pretty annoying themselves. And I know many people who prefer not to think about much of what they consume, and with them I have no argument. I also have no argument with people who disagree with another person’s thoughts about a work of art. That should go without saying. Finally, this should also go without saying, but since it apparently doesn’t: Believe me, the person who is annoying you so much by thinking about the art? They have already considered your revolutionary “just enjoy it” strategy, because it is not actually revolutionary at all. It is the default state for most of humanity.

So when you go out of your way to suggest that people should be thinking less — that not using one’s capacity for reason is an admirable position to take, and one that should be actively advocated — you are not saying anything particularly intelligent. And unless you live on a parallel version of Earth where too many people are thinking too deeply and critically about the world around them and what’s going on in their own heads, you’re not helping anything; on the contrary, you’re acting as an advocate for entropy.

And most annoyingly of all, you’re contributing to the fucking conversation yourselves when you make your stupid, stupid comments. You are basically saying, “I think people shouldn’t think so much and share their thoughts, that’s my thought that I have to share.” If you really think people should just enjoy the movie without thinking about it, then why the fuck did you (1) click on the post in the first place, and (2) bother to leave a comment? If it bugs you so much, GO WATCH A GODDAMN FUNNY CAT VIDEO.

Amen brother.

1 comment:

  1. It's simply amazing how many people are more than happy to voice an opinion that says other people should not voice their opinion. I've known for some time that critical reasoning skills are slowly dying, but things like that just confirm it.