November 8, 2010

Advertising's Collateral Damage

johnmayer.jpg

John Mayer is a jerk, right?


It's an axiom of academic deconstructicons that advertising is a window on society, but it's more accurate to say advertising is society's window on you.  And, looking at it this way, it becomes evident that society thinks you're an idiot.  Allow me to elaborate.

You've probably never seen this ad, not because it isn't played constantly, but because your mind self-defensively blocks traumatic images from consciousness.  Stop acting like a 3rd grade girl at japanese horror marathon and force yourself to look carefully.



I feel like I need to watch The Little Mermaid to detox. Ok, let's go through it, were all the key demos represented?

Hot yoga chick in lululemon?  (Cut to windchimes):

bb-ad-yoga.JPG


Extra gay gay guys with tattoos and accessories-- (they sell skulls):


bb-ad-gayguys.JPG


Crazy stalker ex-GF?


bb-ad-girlfriend.JPG


Esse w/ hopping car?

bb-ad-esse.JPG


Serial killer w/ mobile killing station?

bb-ad-serialkiller.JPG


It's easy to think that the ads are designed to draw in the demo shown in the ads, but that's not the way advertising works, and consequently that's not how America works.  If you're watching it, it's for you.  These ads play heavy during late and late late night talk shows: the target is boring middle aged white people.  Blackberry isn't targeting gays and limber blondes, it's pretending they are already on board so you don't feel like a dork without a touch screen.

In other words, the target is the uptight khakis and Polo salarymen who are otherwise tempted to defect to the iphone/Android as a last ditch attempt at reassuring themselves that the person they were at 20 is still alive in there, underneath the carbgut.

And you can't be subtle with that demo, the message has to detonate like an Athens mailbomb.  Here's another Blackberry ad, showing a completely unposed, random human being talking about how he uses the Blackberry to promote his business:

bb-ad-blackbarber.JPGI heard that, yo.  But the phone is white and he talks white, so he's ok.  "Oh my God, you're such a racist jerk, and a misogynist and a homophobe."  Umm, would you mind calling back on a landline?  Your iphone is breaking up.

It is an irrelevant coincidence that minorities already purchase more blackberrys than iphones.   It doesn't matter to the Dave Mathews fan what they actually buy, what matters is what the image of them buys, and that image, because it does not exist in real life, has to be communicated, not observed.  Hence ads.

The point isn't that the iphone isn't cool, or useful, or a superior product, the point is that the demo blackberry is worried about are the ones who secretly worry their phone also brands them.  Cool= black and gay, even if you hate black and gay, which you do, which is why they're in the ads.  You hate them because you're envious of their freedom, affluence, seeming lack of responsibility, their easy dialogue with sexuality or power, their casual wardrobes. 

Hence also the gay guys.  You might think gay decorators with bead bracelets are not ideal aspirational images for office workers, but that's why you're in sales and not marketing.  What matters is the image: how awesome would it be if your sexual proclivities could be an overt   90% of your identity?  Add also the evident self-care, self-absorption, and throw in a partner who doesn't nag and is willing to play along.   "Sounds ideal," he replies as he pours utility coffee into an 8oz styrofoam cup.  That ideal (we are told) buys Blackberrys, so it's okay if you do,  too.

"What planet are you on?  Heteros already broadcast their sexuality!"  Oh no they don't, not the ones who drink light beers, ask them.  Ask them if they don't feel like they have to keep their sexuality suppressed all the time, that they "can't even compliment a woman on her dress" without a trip to HR.  They think gay men get a pass on displaying lust, not to mention getting their own parade.  It is this perception that makes flamboyant gay men the correct casting for advertising directed at people who cringe at the sight of flamboyant gay men.  They know you better than you know yourself.  Strike that: they know the lies you tell yourself better than you.

As a marketing strategy this is, of course, doomed to failure.  Your Dad can't tell you he's cool, he has to show you he's cool, and he can't because he's your Dad, end of story.  Blackberry can't commandeer images to push their agenda, anymore than your Dad can put on a Raiders cap sideways and say, "yo, yo, yo, all my homies agree that abstinence is da bomb!"  He has to come at you as Dad, because that's what he is, regardless of what he says he is, anything else is immediately dismissed as a trick.

Blackberry's only chance is to invent an awesome phone, which they can't because they're Canadian (too drunk to do science.)


II.

But Blackberry's market penetration isn't my concern.  What interests me is the collateral damage of these ads, of advertising in general.  All ads which sell a product inadvertently sell another product, and that product is identity, and they sell it better than their own product.  Using these images won't/can't convince you that Blackberry is cool, but they have inadvertently convinced you that these images are cool, that these are the standards of cool.  Pick and choose what parts you envy.   "Not me!  I think for myself!"  Of course you do, of course you do.


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You might also like:


Acura: I'm Not The One You Should Be Worried About

China Needs Fewer TVs, Or A Billion Of Them

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http://twitter.com/thelastpsych









Comments

That sort of reminds me of ... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 11:34 AM | Posted by Anonymous Coward: | Reply

That sort of reminds me of the Verizon commercial talking about their NFL on demand feature.

What struck me the first time I saw it was that nearly everyone was white. Certainly everyone whose mug was featured: both quarterbacks and the guy dialing up the game from his campsite. There were a few token black folks but they were behind, mostly hidden in shadow.

It bugs me a lot.

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Well, I'm not buying a Blac... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:16 PM | Posted by Lise: | Reply

Well, I'm not buying a Blackberry, if that's any indicator.

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"how awesome would it be if... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:26 PM | Posted by Walenty Lisek: | Reply

"how awesome would it be if your sexual proclivities could be an overt 90% of your identity?"

I've actually tried this before, but people call me a misogynistic monster because of my love for plaid pleated skirts. Most men, if they could would be open ephebophiles. But we can't because older women use social shaming to keep our honest feelings in check. These older women do so not to "protect" the younger more desirable ladies, but because the older women know they can't compete in the sexual marketplace against them.

Oh and honest men don't want to hear this bullshit about "loving a woman for what's on the inside". The narcissistic girl culture drowns a woman's emerging soul so that only the image of a human being remains. So the psychology of most "grown" women is no better than their teenage counterparts. If feminists really were about helping women, they would have put a stop to this a long time ago.

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I like how this became all ... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Walenty Lisek's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I like how this became all about your issues with women! Not exactly sure why you thought it was relevant.... ohhh waitttt....


or maybe that was a joke?

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Alone, you're right, I did ... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone, you're right, I did forget about block this ad until you posted it.

I remember thinking the "stalker ex-girlfriend" and her need to know who was ignoring her was an odd sales pitch. Really, you're that desperate for validation? You enjoy creating (fake) drama?

"Amy didn't message back? I knew it. I know who my real friends are now. On to the next!"

That's who Blackberry is appealing to? Yuck. So, that means there's enough people like her to constitute a viable demographic? Oh God.

But, I guess you're right, it's not for those people. It's for your dad's mid-life crisis.

Wait, hold on. But you're also suggesting that if a college girl sees it she might think being a histrionic is what's hip after graduation?

"But she looks so pretty and independent!"

Excuse me while I claw my eyes out.

Anyway, Alone, you keep talking about the under 30 crowd and how we need to wake up before it's too late. Come on, make with the scare. I'm only 23.

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damn you're good... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Posted by Dre: | Reply

damn you're good

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Just a clarification I need... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just a clarification I need: Is BBM considered a generation behind i-Phone and not hip? I don't quite understand some of this.

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Hey Last, why don't you cov... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 1:24 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

Hey Last, why don't you cover your pages with more ads? I especially like the ones that cover the whole page. A question though: why no ads for gold? It seems like the only thing missing in your campaign.

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Excellent post in general!<... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 1:25 PM | Posted by AnAnon: | Reply

Excellent post in general!

Not sure if this is accurate though...that said, I wouldn't be the least surprised if American academics (in the very weird world of US academia) believe..."It's an axiom of academic deconstructicons that advertising is a window on society, but it's more accurate to say advertising is society's window on you." Over the last decade or so it's been interesting to watch American academics battle over who gets to define reality - most seem to be trying to define reality and claim they have a magical insight. Like most people who are more interested in defending ego and identity, and affirming that their subjective perspective is objective so others should conform to it, there's a binary thought process in place that almost necessitates that parts of reality be excluded to keep the subjective narrative intact.

It's pretty generally understood in academia (from my limited experience and from discussing these things with academics I know) that advertising isn't a "window" upon society or reality but an attempt to shape and manipulate perception. Even most non-academics realize this, even while they're (we're) having our experience and perspective shaped by the media environments we are immersed in. What most people seem to have a hard time doing (particularly those who believe they are in a "culture war" that threatens their identity and power) is acknowledging that we're all susceptible to these influences - even when we know how they function. And we're all prone to confirmation bias (particularly when it comes down to issues that challenge our world view and perceived place in it/identity we derive from believing we are something, that's why the science vs religion "culture war" is actually about dueling ideologies for most people who have made it into a mission).

And, of course, you're all wrong because it's my subjective perception of reality and the philosophy that best supports my subjective perception and pre-existing beliefs that is right. ;p


It kind of amazes me how many people - including those who are trained in science - don't understand the difference between subjective perception and objective reality...when it comes to their own beliefs at least. (I'm not claiming my subjectivity is objective here, I'm just aware that there's a difference between how I experience the world and what the world actually is according to our best attempts to observe and understand it up until this point in time.)


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i blame you and your blog f... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Posted by randy: | Reply

i blame you and your blog for getting me fire a year ago. too damn interesting. well this blog and all those financial doom-and-gloom blogs out there.

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These ads will only work fo... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 3:28 PM | Posted by M: | Reply

These ads will only work for those of the mindset to be swayed by public opinion, status symbols, and other people's opinions of them. If one is not insecure with themself, they will subconsciously know that buying a Blackberry will do nothing to help their station in life. Those who are too caught up in the world of others are enticed by the sense of acceptance, of status that can be attained from buying this high-end phone that everyone, from artistic gay guys to pretty young women, embrace.

Advertising is about validation. Those who buy heavily into consumer culture are those most in need of validation. What I think is interesting is how instead of going the route of targeting the young and insecure teenage demographic, the advertisers played more into the insecurities of the older set this time.

While we could bemoan the fact that "mere humans" need validation, and us ubermensch intellectuals commenting on this article do not - it is, in my opinion, wrong and, in general, grossly conceited. Everyone needs validation of some sort. Where one might get it from depends on one's personality, background, and maturity level. I would hope that one day these people who are out buying Blackberries realize that consumerism is a cold, dark, well in society that they are just tossing their spare change into and that the only way they will ever find personal satisfaction is, strangely enough, through themselves (and not their self-image).

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How true! And the most perv... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 3:56 PM | Posted by JohnJ: | Reply

How true! And the most pervasive kind of advertising doesn't even sell products. TV shows constantly show us what kind of people are cool and what kind of people aren't. It doesn't take a genius to realize that pop culture constantly portrays certain kinds of people and ideas as cool, and certain others as not, in an effort to appeal to people's inherent desire to be part of the cool crowd.

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Usually your your work offe... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Posted by Morgan Warstler: | Reply

Usually your your work offers insight, but I have to correct you here...

This ad targets those who are not credit worthy. They are selling directly to type. Blackberry is the "premium" phone for all the pre-paid mobile carriers - smart phones are out of reach. Blackberry knows this. They aren't after white guy middle level office hacks - which is good because this ad would be horrible for them.

To explain, let me give you some real insight into brand advertising... when it is done correctly it's focus is "non-buyers."

Often times the ad spend actually out weighs the per-unit cost of product sold. At the high end, $9 Nikes get $40 per pair of ads to make them a $200 pair of Air Jordans.

The product TRULY is the advertising.
The non-buyer is the audience.
The buyer is the seller. This one is tricky.

Imagine yourself as the thing being sold... Nike is your PR agency, and you just called them and said, I got $200 to spend and I want everyone to know what I am about, and also I want some shoes.

What I've just told you is the secret to lifestyle brand advertising... a good ad, convinces the non-buyer the buyer is cool. Or rather, the buyer THINKS the ad will convince the non-buyers he is cool.

After all, when he buys the product, suddenly the ad campaign is about him. This is WHO he is... and the ad is telling everyone it is so.

We are all savvy, we all speak the same visual objective language, we assume that everyone else sees AD X, and we know how we feel about the product and AD X, and we are choosing ads/products that we feel tell our story.

Imagine a guy in front of a wall, behind him are the ad campaigns he's been running about himself - these are his purchases - millions and millions of people have been told BY HIM in ad campaigns he paid for... who he is.

Advertising is about describing ourselves to others. It is proof we are no longer buying things, we are telling our own story to millions.

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^^^ That's racist.... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 5:12 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

^^^ That's racist.

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You're right, it is painful... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 5:23 PM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

You're right, it is painful to watch. The characters are nothing like the people I know and certainly nothing like the people I consider to be cool and hip. Plus the whole talking down thing...I may be an idiot but I hate being treated as one. If not buying an overpriced cellphone means I'm not like them, then I'm all for it.

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"It is this perception that... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 8:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Walenty Lisek's comment, by inarticulate in the city: | Reply

"It is this perception that makes flamboyant gay men the correct casting for advertising directed at people who cringe at the sight of flamboyant gay men."

I don't know if you noticed, but he emphasized PERCEPTION. Hence, you're just talking about yourself and your perceptions/fantasies, not about reality, unfortunately.

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<a href="http://www.ndscard... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Posted by R4: | Reply

dingoo digitalNdscardsale is a famous Web sites which sales Of game cards in the world

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Ndscardsale is a famous Web... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 10:14 PM | Posted by R4: | Reply

Ndscardsale is a famous Web sites which sales Of game cards in the world buy dingoo

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This isn't that complicated... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 10:40 PM | Posted by Chris: | Reply

This isn't that complicated. This ad campaign by Blackberry (BB) is simply an attempt to redefine its product positioning.

What happened is this: BB surveyed the smart phone market, ran opinion surveys, polls, focus groups -- a lot of primary and secondary research and they came up with this: Blackberry is an old business man's E-MAIL phone, is ancient technology, and has zero cool factor.

So, they make an ad campaign that attempts to reposition BB in the consumer's mind that it is Hip, cool, relevant, and does cool things other than e-mail -- hence the huge emphasis in Blackberry Messaging.

That's it. I promise.

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This campaign is geared tow... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 11:12 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

This campaign is geared toward people who aren't good with computers. Bored yoga moms, gay retail-lifers (even if they own the antique store), some control-freak nightmare woman who is obviously supposed to be channeling Debra Morgan, and a host of other "where do you put the mouse?" type people. The Blackberry is in-between a smartphone and a featurephone, so, y'know...not too complicated. There's a reason why BB is so popular in the corporate world: execs are dopes.

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"Amy didn't message back... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2010 11:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Towle_: | Reply

"Amy didn't message back? I knew it. I know who my real friends are now. On to the next!"

You're missing everything by leaving out the rest of that conversation. Yes, conversation.

"I'm really, really sorry, Catherine. I was in class, and the professor said to put it away, and so I couldn't reply then, but then I was so busy later..."

The back-and-forth goes like this: excuse, rebuttal, excuse, rebuttal. Doesn't matter how valid the excuses and rebuttals are in a logical sense. All that matters is that by the end of the conversation, each party knows that if Amy doesn't message back the next time, it's "proof;" every one of Catherine's suspicions is "validated," which logically would make Amy the bitch, the out-member of their friend group who did and thinks all those mean things to and about Catherine, who's everyone's friend.

Amy can't afford to risk that shit. Ergo, you bet your ass she messages back next time, no matter what that professor of hers has to say about it.

Soon as that happens, Amy has effectively accepted her bit-role in The Catherine Movie.

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>>"So, they make an ad camp... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 12:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Chris's comment, by Drew: | Reply

>>"So, they make an ad campaign that attempts to reposition BB in the consumer's mind that it is Hip, cool, relevant, and does cool things other than e-mail -- hence the huge emphasis in Blackberry Messaging."

But what is interesting is that the obvious commercial would have featured dorks sending emails and making business calls because that realistically depicts whom the marketers want to buy the phone. But, that commercial is not this commercial.

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I like it. This one is very... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I like it. This one is very clear, and very concise.

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Oh man Alone I belly laughe... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:23 AM | Posted by Its Not For Me, HeHe: | Reply

Oh man Alone I belly laughed at your descriptions of the walking stereotype "friends" characters.

It didn't occur to me that the yoga chick was supposed to be "hot", I viewed her as being there to relate to the 30ish+ women in the crowd who wish they had more time to invest in self care as opposed to child/house/husband care. She's not the kind of woman that will appeal to men (i.e. old), she's the kind of woman who will appeal to women (an older woman who has long blonde wavy hair and is stylish and fit and behaves youthfully, i.e. sarah jessica parker... this is a woman's fantasy not a man's fantasy).
It also did not occur to me the "badass" guy was hispanic, I just assumed he was a "badass" again intended to appeal to the 40+ year old men in the crowd who long for freedom from their boring 9-5 lives. Old guys WISH they could drive around with a tight black t-shirt and glasses for their music group or whatever.
I assume the gay guys were in there also to appeal to women ... it is every woman's fantasy to be a hag to some fag. Google "sassy gay best friend" if you DONT believe me.
This is why gay men are ubiquitous on television, but lesbians are not. Straight women do not like lesbians. Straight men DO like lesbians, but only in a sexual way, and only feminine (not unattractive) lesbians. Straight men have no desire to be "friends" with lesbians, they only want to watch them make out with women. If straight men did want to be "friends" with lesbians and admired their lifestyle (the way heterosexual women admire gay men)... then you would see a lot more "token lesbians" in commercials aimed at men. The only time lesbians are shown on television is when they are two otherwise hetereosexual women kissing/making out for the sexual interest of men (e.g. madonna, xtina, britney). You don't see butch women in commercials shopping at home depot, because that does not appeal to men or women. But all women have a fantasy about a "sassy gay best friend" so the token extremely gay guy is alllll over television shows and commercials.

The token gay guys are there for the women in the crowd who wish they had sassy gay friends. Yes, it is annoying, how people view other humans as accessorties to their identities. "I want to be a fit lithe wavy haired blonde in her late 30s doing yoga, and I want a sassy gay best friend, then I can be exactly like sarah jessica parker".

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The best phone acquisition ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:39 AM | Posted by Lexi: | Reply

The best phone acquisition process.

Step 1: date someone insanely picky about technology and food. When I say insane, I mean has an iPhone, a Pre, an HTC EVO, Droid and other phones. Makes spread sheets about likes and dislikes. Complains daily.

Step 2: learn to appreciate

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Yeah, exactly, that's what'... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Chris's comment, by The Devastator: | Reply

Yeah, exactly, that's what's so scary. Blackberry isn't intentionally trying to make us all douchebags, they're just a bunch of people trying to sell some phones. The making-us-douchebags part is a byproduct. Hence the title of the piece.

"Mr. Saleh, are you seriously suggesting that the U.S. military came all this way just to bomb your house? To the contrary, sir, we did not even know your house was there. Our mission is to bring democracy. That's it. I promise."

Very comforting.

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a good ad, convinces the... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:45 AM | Posted by Que sera: | Reply

a good ad, convinces the non-buyer the buyer is cool. Or rather, the buyer THINKS the ad will convince the non-buyers he is cool.

I think Morgan Warstler got it right.

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I wish people were trying t... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:51 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I wish people were trying to sell things to me, dammit, the things I want to buy are much nicer than this.

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Apparently step 2.5 is push... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:54 AM | Posted by Lexi: | Reply

Apparently step 2.5 is push the wrong button.

Step 3: accept hand me downs from this very picky person's last 'best for him' phone.

Step 4: say thank you! And appreciate the insanity.

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Bull's eye. ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:59 AM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

Bull's eye.

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Funny. I was just thinking ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 4:56 AM | Posted, in reply to Walenty Lisek's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Funny. I was just thinking about this 5 minutes ago!

I appreciate your honesty, as it is quite honest to admit men, in general, are disgustingly preoccupied with children. Regardless if they are heterosexual or homosexual, the testosterone-treated brain is *infatuated* with signs of childhood... it is not about female attractiveness, it is about the male brain, something about it is programmed to want to do sexual acts to children. Gay men are probably even worse than hetereosexual ones (and fits in nicely with the theory that male homosexuality is an expression of a "hypermasculine, high testosterone" prenatal environment). This may account for the very high level of homosexual pedophiles (pedophilia in general is a male affliction, but compared to their % of the population, homosexual pedophilia is disproportionately overrepresented when compared to heterosexual pedophilia).

So, yes, your honesty is appreciated, sir. I am glad I am not a man. I would feel disgusted with myself if I had constant sexual thoughts about children. That is a burden I do not envy.

With that said, your sociopathic amorality about wanting to fuck 15 year old children is scary. Men control these thoughts/desires and suppress them for the same reason any sane human being suppresses the desire to take a fucking shit in the middle of an office building. It may be our natrual impulse to shit on the floor, however any sane person waits to find a restroom and shit there instead. Why do we do this? Morals and good social awareness, i.e. being socialized.
1) Shitting on the floor is wrong.
2) It disrespects others. It violates their space, making them smell your shit.
3) It makes you look like a nutcase who shits the floor. Et cetera.

Now, it may be true that biologically, men are hopelessly programmed to want to fuck, rape, virgins, i.e. 15 year old girls. I mean, the evolutionary incentive is obvious. If you are a fucking cave man, it's pretty obvious your genes are going to do well if you rape 15 year olds. 15 year olds are virgins, meaning they aren't preganant, HOWEVER they do have some (although not peak) reproductive capacity. End result? Babies! Raping a 25 year old woman is not a good idea - she is more fertile than the 15 year old (in terms of infant mortality and complications, anyway)...but almost all 25 year old women are sexually active and in a natural environment, all women over 20ish are pregnant constantly. 15 year olds, however, are virgins for the most part.
Waring tribes kill all the women older than teens, kill all the men, kill all the old people, kill all the babies... but they keep the teenage girls for themselves. Rape them. End result, genes. Lots of genes being spread.

So, yea.

But you know what, buddy? Natural does not mean good, you stupid sick fuck. It's natural to shit on the floor. It's natural for a woman to abandon or kill an infant she doesn't want. It's natural for a male to rape his biological daughter.

That you let it all hang out and say you lust after children... well, just proves you are a sociopathic undesirable, and you should proooobably be given progesterone to suppress your testicular function, just like fucking sex offenders. You gross, gross, gross sociopath, socialized sociopath... society, pathology you are one.

Next time I am in front of your house, I am going to drop trou' and shit on your garden. When you get all upset, I'll just shrug me shoulderrrz and say "it's nature buddy, I had to shit, and so here we are". Now you know how the children feel when you think of raping them while they are coming home from school.

This has nothing to do with women, jealousy, or feminisim. It has to do with you shitting on the fucking floor, breaking social rules, thinking ONLY OF YOUR USELESS, IRRELEVANT MEANINGLESS desires at the expense of the well being and mental health of other people (i.e. the children who are sexually exploited and manipulated by beasts like you).

In short, stab yourself in the face and bleed to death. Thanks.

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Don't feed the troll Anonym... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 7:44 AM | Posted by Roar: | Reply

Don't feed the troll Anonymouse, I'm sure he knows that most teens wouldn't touch him with ten foot pole unless perhaps he were really rich and famous and/or they were really really desperate and forced to do it. So he's looking for attention instead.

Since he can't get positive attention he'll settle for the negative. What to do, what to do?

Exactly, haunt forums and commenting areas hoping to get a chance to insult older women, whether it's relevant to the discussion or not.

An easy target since most older women are already very sensitive about the subject anyway and not really because they envy the young. More likely because they remember being groped and leered by older men as a teen and deep down inside they may still wish they could go back in time and kick the guy in the nuts. Rather than hurt their words incite anger.

Still, that's a nice, welcome flood of attention for the troll. Why give it to him?

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>>>"But what is interesting... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 9:26 AM | Posted, in reply to Drew's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

>>>"But what is interesting is that the obvious commercial would have featured dorks sending emails and making business calls because that realistically depicts whom the marketers want to buy the phone. But, that commercial is not this commercial"

That's who IS buying the phone. But what Blackberry (BB) is attempting to do is gain market share against iPhone/Android and appeal to the younger and trendier demographic that purchases smartphones on a more frequent cycle. Business men aren't as concerned with updating thier phones with cycles in trends, and that's bad for BB. Plus, they are losing overall market share with the onslaught of iPhone/Android.

The whole attempt by BB is a bad idea from an advertising perspective as they already have the business-man market wrapped up and their advertising should be focusing on keeping it, not pulling market share from iPhone/Android. The reality is that Android is likely to pull market share away from BB.

THE DEVASTATOR:
>>>"Blackberry isn't intentionally trying to make us all douchebags, they're just a bunch of people trying to sell some phones. The making-us-douchebags part is a byproduct. Hence the title of the piece."

I completely understand that, and I wholeheartedly agree that is what is happening.

Let's take the comment from TLP: "It is this perception that makes flamboyant gay men the correct casting for advertising directed at people who cringe at the sight of flamboyant gay men. They know you better than you know yourself. Strike that: they know the lies you tell yourself better than you."

I am arguing that the collateral damage is cause in ignorance.

TLP is arguing that it is more intentional, as in the image manipulation aforementioned. I'm saying: BB is not trying to get old white business men to buy their phone with this ad. Hence my first post.

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Internet issues, had to ret... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Posted by Chris: | Reply

Internet issues, had to retype. Forgot name.

Previous post brought to you by Chris.

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"Sounds ideal," he repl... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Posted by Lee: | Reply

"Sounds ideal," he replies pours utility coffee into an 8oz styrofoam cup.

What are you doing here? Is this another example? It was important enough to include. Painting a picture of the demographic (consumer)? Are you using the same 'trick' on us? I'm probably missing the point entirely.

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You feed your own fantasies... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by inarticulate in the city: | Reply

You feed your own fantasies of men just like he goes apeshit on fantasies of how women think.

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Judging by the amount of pe... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 10:35 AM | Posted by rox: | Reply

Judging by the amount of people who thumbed up the idea of ceasing to protect teens from adult male sexual advances, it's not really fantasy is it?

There are certainly a lot of men who would love to repeal statutory rape laws and have at those 15 year olds.

Thank god we haven't reached that point where it's legal. For every year the guy is older, a teen is 11 percent more likely to be impregnated. The larger percentage of males who impregnate teens are older than 25.

These guys know better. They know she's not on birth control (because she's a 15 year old virgin), they know she will cower in front of them, they know they can do whatever they want no matter how much it hurts her.

This is not something we, as a society, should say is "ok".

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But what is interesting ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Drew's comment, by Reader: | Reply

But what is interesting is that the obvious commercial would have featured dorks sending emails and making business calls because that realistically depicts whom the marketers want to buy the phone. But, that commercial is not this commercial.
The marketers want a segment of that demo to buy. They don't want me (or my husband, or his friends, or his friends' wives) to buy the phone. We're all nerds, fairly happy with the label and will be sitting over here with our rooted Androids. TYVM.

They want the nerds-in-denial to buy. Those kids are nerds, always have been nerds, will always be nerds, but can't accept the reality. They want to believe if they buy the latest [shoes | khakis | car | cell phone] it will convince people [women] to look past the pocket protector in their ill-fitting Italian suit and realize how HAWT they truly are. Because, damn man, those gorgeous black gay MMA fighters use a Blackberry, too!

So, the "obvious" commercial wouldn't sway my demo ["It's not as good as my rooted set, and I have to pay an extra $40 per month."] and wouldn't appeal to the target demo ["Only loser nerds use that phone. I'm not that kind of nerd."].

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They use that type of girl ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 1:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Nik: | Reply

They use that type of girl to advertise the feature, but are not directing the ad at her. The message is aimed at corporate management types. When a VP sends a "BBM", he can check up on his underlings and see who's paying attention and who's getting ready to get fired.

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Your analysis of the images... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 2:09 PM | Posted by tehag: | Reply

Your analysis of the images may be correct, but that music: hideous. Of course, I don't own a Blackberry, either.

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"BBM" sounds like an old Ja... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Posted by tehag: | Reply

"BBM" sounds like an old Jack Paar joke. Hahahaha.

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"Yeah, exactly, that's what... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 2:34 PM | Posted, in reply to The Devastator's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Yeah, exactly, that's what's so scary. Blackberry isn't intentionally trying to make us all douchebags, they're just a bunch of people trying to sell some phones. The making-us-douchebags part is a byproduct. Hence the title of the piece."

In my experience doing copywriting for ad agencies in North America, most people in advertising are actually highly unaware of what they're doing. People tend to think of people in advertising as these super manipulators but most of them are just doing what they've been told works with absolutely no understanding of why (or even if it really does). You get the occasional person who is aware but most people in advertising that I've run across are more about image than substance (not surprisingly they buy into what they sell).

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The same can be same for an... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2010 5:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acute_ mania: | Reply

The same can be same for any field, psychiatry included. Does TLP really has the substance? Or is he just trying to pass himself off as having the substance because he knows he doesn't have the image?

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Heh. What do you get when y... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by The Devastator: | Reply

Heh. What do you get when you amplify static? Loud static.

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This is the anon who was ye... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Roar's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

This is the anon who was yelling at the proud pedo...

He may be a troll, but this mentality ("I like kids and it's a-okay") is really all too common among men, particularly on the internet. So, I'm sick of seeing it, so I gave my thoughts about it. I'm not past my 20s yet, not old at all, most people assume I am extremely young anyway and I seem younger than my age for the most part...I find what that beast said offensive, because it IS offensive.

"I feel things, I want to eat food when I want, I want to shit where I want, I want to piss where I want, I want to insert my dick wherever I feel like it, whenever I want to"... too many cretinous men seem to think this way. They are a ball of visceral reactions and needs, not unlike a bull or some other beast, base and barely human, with no capacity to care about anyone else but themselves. They need to be kicked in the teeth, sterilized, and run out of society as they are completely antisocial.

I am angry because people like him disgust me. And too men men are like him.

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All the thumbs up from the ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:50 AM | Posted, in reply to rox's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

All the thumbs up from the fat, hairy, grotesque, underemployed old men is another thing that got me so agitated.

How fucking DARE you promote raping children. Which is basically what adult sex with a 15 year old child is... it is rape of a child. Burn in hell.

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Seeing as zero percent of t... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 8:41 AM | Posted by rox: | Reply

Seeing as zero percent of the adult men who think having sex with 15 year old girls know what it feels like for a girl to go through this, or have any clue what the hell happens to these girls as they go through the rest of their lives, their opinion of how little it affects her means nothing. For the most part most of these guys are just getting off on porn where their fanasies are being fed and nurtured-- if you read at all about the sex trade you know that a huge number of girls in porn and in prostitution are underage and have been forced to be there.

Do have any fucking clue what the rest of their lives are like? Do you give a shit? When you have your fun for however long you wanted and then dissappear do you want to know what happens to the kid (your kid) you don't know exists? Or do you not care about that human life either? Because guess what, in many states she can't legally get an abortion without her parents permission.

So she has to carry your child for 9 months and fall in love with that child and then either be forced to give her child up to some rich couple (the man of whom probably likes fucking 15 year olds also) that buy her baby and she is TWICE exploited, or she has to try to figure how to get the money for daycare and how to learn how to parent adequately at 15, and if she has any sense at all, knowing that this will affect her child and she can never be good enough.

And she knows this and no matter what she chooses she will ache for the rest of her life.

I'm going to second to burn in hell. You have no idea the torture you are advocating. It disturbs me so deeply that such a large portion of men are ok with destroying women in this way.

The kind of emptiness is limitness.

Try watching Xiu xiu. You can find it on amazon. Oh wait, even watching how much being exploited for sex at 15 can destroy a female won't create emotions in people who are incapable of empathy, compassion, or any awareness whatsover of what other humans are feeling

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If men could act without re... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If men could act without repercussion, how many would have sex with a 15 year old virgin while she cries and enjoy her suffering?

Sadly... so so so many. And you wonder why some women find it hard to trust men. With the amount of men who want to see women exploited and violated when they are scared and vulnerable. Jesus.

What's interesting is that people of think men who violate children as weirdos, identifyably "different" people. They aren't. They are the same people that have normal relationships, are likable and friendly, build trust. It's inside most men, the desire to exploit young girls sexually and it doesn't just stop at 15. Thankfully I think a lot of men aren't in touch with these feelings and maybe truly don't have them. "A lot" however seems to be an overstatement. I think it's the majority, that if all repercussions were removed, would do horrible things to young girls.

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I am so sick of bigoted peo... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Posted, in reply to rox's comment, by JohnJ: | Reply

I am so sick of bigoted people thinking that men don't know what being sexually abused is like. Your sexist rant condemning all men is vapid, closed-minded tripe.

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Men can be sexually abused,... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 12:47 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

Men can be sexually abused, of course. Are these the same men who want to do the same thing to 15 year olds? Possibly.

More than likely, these men who are in favor of grown men having sex with 15 year olds do not know what it's like.

Do you disagree with that? If they do, then I have sympathy for them reproducing abuse that they went through, but I think the majority of the guys thumbing up the idea that 15 year old girls can handle sex with adult men HAVE NO IDEA.

Women can be evil and sexually abuse people as well.

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rox: so what's your point? ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

rox: so what's your point? do you have one?

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Admittedly, I had to look u... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:18 PM | Posted by JohnJ: | Reply

Admittedly, I had to look up "ephebophile". I'm willing to bet that most guys (yes, probably guys) who "thumbs up'd" that comment were simply agreeing with the sentiment that being "openly heterosexual" is so highly discouraged. That's what I first thought about when i read it.

But I do agree that older people should not be sexually preying on younger people. I know that the under-reported rape of young men by female teachers is a growing problem. Turning it into a gender war is a sure way to avoid solving the problem.

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My point is some 23 and cou... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

My point is some 23 and counting people are fine with the exploitation of 15 year old girls. Are these people who have ever been a 15 year old girl who has been exploited sexually by a pain? Are these people who understand how painful it is to be so physically smaller than a man who is cramming himself in you while it hurts and enjoying your pain and the power they have over you?

Are these people who have been left with child as a teen by an adult male and had to figure out how to deal with the ramifications of that?

Why has so far, not a damn man spoken up about it, if we think there are so many decent men out there?

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John: thank you deeply for ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:24 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

John: thank you deeply for saying you are against the exploitation of children. I ahve to confess, it makes me wonder what kind of world I live in when so many men seem to think this is ok. I only have my own experiences plus hearing stuff like to go on, which makes it hard to find proof of the decent men that I know exist.

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I have known personally a n... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:26 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

I have known personally a number of men who have been horrifically abused by etruly evil women, and yes all those of us who have experienced this kind of abuse should be allies of each other.

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What does your point have t... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 1:37 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

What does your point have to do with the topic of this post?

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JohnJ - "Turning it into a ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:03 PM | Posted, in reply to JohnJ's comment, by AnAnon: | Reply

JohnJ - "Turning it into a gender war is a sure way to avoid solving the problem."

Well said. It's likely to make the problem worse.

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I actually don't think most... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Libertarians vs. Unicorns: | Reply

I actually don't think most men would rape 15 yearolds, even if it were legal. Maybe a few more, than already do. But I think most men are actually decent people, maybe some don't understand why rape is so upsetting to women and are not able to offer the most helpful consolations, but neither can many women.

About 6% of men, in one study, admitted to being rapists, when asked, as long as the word "rape" was not used. http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/11/12/rapists-who-dont-think-theyre-rapists/

I think the small percentage of men that attempt or actually rape women have been abused in some way themselves. It may not be a physical assault in their past. It may be emotional abuse. Any number of things. And women aren't the only one's that get raped, and men aren't the only one's that rape.

I think men appreciating/being attracted to youthful features is separate from acting on that attraction to the point of exploiting adolescents. Just like being a pedophile is seperate from being a child molester.

As for the evolutionary psych argument for rape, here is a fairly decent rebuttal-- while it is a cognitive adaptation (likely relating to the same adaption sociopath was for, it is not a reproductive strategy) because otherwise 10 yearolds and 60 yearolds wouldn't be targeted either. http://www.newsweek.com/2009/06/19/why-do-we-rape-kill-and-sleep-around.print.html

JohnJ--

EH- Walenty pointed out what it might be like if 90% of his sexual proclivities could be overt. Rox and others are responding to that comment. Possibly shaming him for it. Shame can serve a useful function in maintaining a cohesive society. That said the level of shame that is internalized from a rape is not useful and costs a society.

I do agree with Walenty that too many adult women act like teenagers (which isn't even to say that most women do, but the amount that do is too many for me). Of course I think too many adult men do the same thing. Our entire society is having an extended adolescence, which then contributes to more narcissism, since narcissism, to some degree is the natural / healthy-ish state of a teenager. Which in part is being informed both by advertising, and University culture. Universities seem like much more of a franchise business than institutions for high learning these days. Many seems like extensions of highschool.

I do find it fascinating to solely blame individuals when it is a systems problem.

I also think that the fastest way to end violence against women, is to end violence against men. Good luck with that.

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And what does Walenty's com... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

And what does Walenty's comment have to do with a Blackberry advertising campaign?

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"I do agree with Walenty th... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Libertarians vs. Unicorns's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"I do agree with Walenty that too many adult women act like teenagers (which isn't even to say that most women do, but the amount that do is too many for me). Of course I think too many adult men do the same thing. Our entire society is having an extended adolescence, which then contributes to more narcissism, since narcissism, to some degree is the natural / healthy-ish state of a teenager. Which in part is being informed both by advertising, and University culture. Universities seem like much more of a franchise business than institutions for high learning these days. Many seems like extensions of highschool.

I do find it fascinating to solely blame individuals when it is a systems problem.

I also think that the fastest way to end violence against women, is to end violence against men. Good luck with that."

Well said. Of course, if we recognize that it's a systemic problem we all become responsible - this is why it's easier to just blame "them" rather than take a good look at "us".

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Wanting to fuck adolescents... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:32 PM | Posted, in reply to JohnJ's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Wanting to fuck adolescents does not make one "openly heterosexual".

If you prefer a 15 year old child to a 24 year old woman, you are sick in the head. If you would rather screw a 14 year old highschool student vs a 21 year old, again that makes you sick in the head.

Don't give me this bullshit that teenagers are more attractive than women. They aren't. If they were, hollywood actresses and pinup girls would be teenagers, but they aren't, they are women in their 20s. Do you remember highschool? Because I remember a whole lot of fug. Some women do peak before 18, but most women actually look better in their early 20s because the foibles of puberty are behind you (e.g. acne, greasy skin, dressing poorly)... not to mention fully completed sexual development (breasts and hips and ass).

There is something...else... compelling men to want to fuck children. It's not sexual attractiveness (people look better in their early 20s mostly), it's not heterosexuality (it's found in homosexual men too)... it's some kind of primitive, primordial, residual drive to rape virgins or something. It's exclusively male, it is almost never found in women regardless of their orientation.

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He's resentful of the overt... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Posted by Ted: | Reply

He's resentful of the overtly gay guys in the ad. He thinks they get to define themselves and even gain a modicum of social acceptance these days based on who they prefer to sleep with. He doesn't get to do that. No fair. It's all the evul older womenzz fault.

Paraphrasing.

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Was answering EH btw.... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Posted by Ted: | Reply

Was answering EH btw.

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Walenty's comment is in res... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Posted, in reply to EH's comment, by Libertarians vs. Unicorns: | Reply

Walenty's comment is in response to TLP's comment about people admiring people that can wear 90% of their sexuality on their sleeve. And what I read into that, is he (Walenty) is commenting on why they don't use heterosexual male's sexuality, it won't sell, he states one potential reason (which I think is also a limited view on male sexuality). It is tangentially related and spins in another direction, that enough other readers are interested enough in to comment on, regardless of staying on topic or trolling potential.

Kind of like life, not everything is linear, not everything stays on topic.

It sounds like you'd prefer things to stay on the topic of blackberry marketing? What is it you find useful about all the commenter staying on topic? I'm asking sincerely, not sarcastically, because I don't actually understand why staying on topic is important in a forum like this (I get in other scenarios why it could be more important). It may be, and I just don't have enough information to understand yet.

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No argument here! I totally... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Libertarians vs. Unicorns's comment, by JohnJ: | Reply

No argument here! I totally agree with you.

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"They want the nerds-in-den... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Reader's comment, by Drew: | Reply

"They want the nerds-in-denial to buy. Those kids are nerds, always have been nerds, will always be nerds, but can't accept the reality."

Is there some way for a nerd not to be a nerd? I think you're right that a Blackberry isn't intended to appeal to people who consider cellphones to be mobile linux internet terminals, but this idea of "nerds will always be nerds" is interesting because what exactly makes somebody a nerd and why is that impossible to change?

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You speak like the ruler of... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Libertarians vs. Unicorns's comment, by Juliet: | Reply

You speak like the ruler of the universe :o I'm just waiting for the part where you start singing to your cat.

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"It's exclusively male, it ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Libertarians vs. Unicorns: | Reply

"It's exclusively male, it is almost never found in women regardless of their orientation."

How many cases do we know about of female highschool teachers that pursue their male highschool students? How many step-mothers, or mothers, rape their sons?

Granted it is fewer and further between, but it happens enough for this to not be an exclusively male problem. Women also tend to be differently abusive-- if you look at it as a power/shame issue, rather than a sex/attraction issue, there becomes a wider swath of people that have the same root problem, that pops out in different ways based on gender and socialization.

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What is it you fin... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 2:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Libertarians vs. Unicorns's comment, by EH: | Reply

What is it you find useful about all the commenter staying on topic?

What is it you find useful about totalizing my sentiment to apply to all comments ever? Walensky taking a shit at the beginning of a thread is a useless tangent, emphasis on "useless."

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"What is it you find useful... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Posted, in reply to EH's comment, by Libertarians vs. Unicorns: | Reply

"What is it you find useful about totalizing my sentiment to apply to all comments ever?"

If that is how my comment comes across, it fuels more irritation, there is nothing useful about it.

"Walensky taking a shit at the beginning of a thread is a useless tangent, emphasis on "useless." "

And you want people to ignore and extinguish bad behavior? Focus on the content of TLP and add to/argue his insight?

I still don't understand why the tangent seems bothersome to you. Other than you don't like what you perceive as useless.

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Yes, I don't like off-topic... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 3:55 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

Yes, I don't like off-topic crap in a thread about something of interest to me. Do you pathologize everybody?

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Only 60% of people. ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Posted, in reply to EH's comment, by Libertarians vs. Unicorns: | Reply

Only 60% of people.

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there is nothing wrong in d... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

there is nothing wrong in desiring 16 or 17 year old women, as they are often fully adult in looks and sexual desires.

Many times is the teenage girls who are the seducers, so you old hags should spare the "Male taking advantage of poor frail innocents" bullshit. It is very frequent for teenage girls to seduce older men.

There are 14 or 15 year old women who are fully sexual in looks and attitudes.

Anyway in my country the age of consent is 14, it must suck in America where you can be sent to jail for having sex with a 16 year old. That's pretty damn stupid and barbaric. Have you ever seen a beautiful teenage girl? If you object to someone finding them sexually attractive, you are fucked up in the head.

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I'm surprised they let you ... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm surprised they let you keep your computer after that last police raid.

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The reason we all hear abou... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 12:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Libertarians vs. Unicorns's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The reason we all hear about cases of female highschool teachers seducing male students (what, 1, 2 of them?) is becuase it is so incredibly rare. On the other hand, musician Sting talks about the reverse scenario it as if it were as ordinary as the sun rising. I never said women never molest children (this is obviously untrue), I said it is almost always men who do it.It is almost exclusively a male disorder.

My armchair hypothesis is that testosterone prenatally and early life orients the brain to be sexually preoccupied with signs of niavete - a frivilous personality, skin tone, lack of personal development (as a child might have) and lack of sophistication and other signs of youthfulness turn men on. This is why women pretend to be stupid and dye their hair blonde (e.g. marilyn monroe's cultivated personality and bleache blonde hair is an archetypal example).. Stupidity signifies inexperience which signifies youth and virginity. Blonde hair does as well, as hair darkens with age. Men are therefore sexually attracted to young-acting blonde haired women.
It is not and can not be about female attractiveness as it is repeatedly shown that:
1) the most fertile years are early 20s (teens are less fertile)
2) Gay men prefer youth probably even more strongly than heterosexual men (and this fits in with the "hypermasculine brain" hypothesis of male homosexuality)
3) If you think back to highschool, I remember a whole lot of fug. Women in their early 20s are way hotter than 15 year old girls... yet many men are inexplicably drawn to them in spite of the fact they are less physically attractive than women who are 18-24 and often look awkward and babyish (duh, they are children).
Any random sample of 15 year olds vs a random sample of 23 year olds.... I would be a year's pay the 23 year olds are objectively muchm ore attractive. I would even say the mid 20s women were probably more attractive than the 15 year olds. I would say the only time 15 year olds begin to be superior in appearance is probably in the very late 20s and early 30s. And at that point you should be settled down, in a serious relationship, having kids, etc. 15 year olds are NOT peak attractiveness, so a preference for them is psychologically unstable.


Also, I never said women never abuse people at all. This conversation is not about the capacity for malevolence. We are speaking strictly of male sexual behavior, and the evolutionary roots of which...but is otherwise antisocial and abusive in modern society. The conversation is about male sexual behavior... the preference for virgins... a male drive to rape virgins, results in many men preferring children over women (and adult women capitalizing off of this male weakness by pretending to be naive/stupid and behave in youthful ways and dye their hair blonde in an attempt to manipulate men). Men, on an instinctual level (i.e. the thinking brain does not understand) prefer that combo of virginity plus fertility above anything else. Ironic that in modern society the conscious brain of a man desperately does not want to impregnate a woman, but yet his entire sexual behavior is geared toward this (preferring virginal females... children who are on the cusp of puberty, indicating a lack of sexual experience but the capacity to become pregnant).

As Dave Gahan said :

"now you're only 15... and you look good... I'll take you under my wing... somebody should... I've got to get to you first...it's just a matter of time"

... and in that song pretty much defined male sexual drive, which very few men are even consciously aware.

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See what you guys did? Now ... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 12:39 AM | Posted by EH: | Reply

See what you guys did? Now it's just getting straight-up retarded.

I hope you're happy.

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Steve,This is the sa... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 12:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Steve,
This is the same anon as above, arguing against the proud pedos.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with finding 16 and 17 year olds attractive. I completely agree, all healthy minded people would agree that 16 and 17 year olds are of reproductive age so some level of attraction to them is totally normal.

*HOWEVER*... a preference for adolescents is not normal. Meaning to say, if you would rather get with a childish acne ridden 14 year old girl with underdeveloped breasts and the beginings of hips, vs a fully developed 23 year old woman... you are mentally unstable.

Ephebophilia is the preference (philia, love) of people on the cusp of puberty (ephebe, pubescent). If a person is attracted to 16 year olds (and 25 year olds, and 35 year olds) that is not an ephebophile. That is a normal man or woman.

An ephebophile loses interest in people much older than 18. An ephebeophile PREFERS, or almost exclusively feels sexual attraction to awkward teens with numerous child-like virginal characteristics. They prefer the dorky 14 year old kid before the fully developed sexy woman in her early 20s. They are suffering from a pathology.


I agree some (very very few) girls are sexually mature 100% by 15 but none are fully emotionally mature, so sex with them is wrong if you are substantially older than her.

Teens are children whether they think they are or not. Do you remember how totally retarded you were at 15, because I do... and it horrifies me to think some men in their 30s are fucking these kids. That has to be profoundly damaging.

There may be some, very few teenage girls who look entirely like adult women (for example, brooke shields looked entirely like a woman in her 20s when she was only 15... it does happen). But most do not. And even if we assume she developed quickly, that doesn't mean it is okay to have sex with her. Well if you are an entirely self centered person, I suppose it makes it okay... but if you have any empathy at all, it's not okay.

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Ok, I really wanted to stay... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 4:48 AM | Posted by Roar: | Reply

Ok, I really wanted to stay out of it out of respect to the doc but Steve's making it really hard for me here.

Steve we're very well aware there are countries where kids are young as 9 can get married and 14 is considered prime material. We also know those girls are trimmed to want or at least expect to get married with a older guy. (Since men must wait until they can be a breadwinner to get married in those societies, girls don't.)

I know many girls who got married between the ages of 13-16 and I also know what became of them later on in life. Personally I got married at 18 and I considered myself fairly progressive for doing it a full 2 years later than my own mother.

So even if you've spent 10 years next to a woman 24/7 and you think you know all about females I still think I'm more qualified to speak of the matter than you are.

And here it is: if you have any brains/decency you stay away from people under 18 years of age even if it's legal to do them and even if they think they want it.

At least if you want to be remembered later on by them as the guy who had some brains and decency. Of course if you don't care, go for it.

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Is there some way for a ... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 8:03 AM | Posted, in reply to Drew's comment, by Reader: | Reply

Is there some way for a nerd not to be a nerd? I think you're right that a Blackberry isn't intended to appeal to people who consider cellphones to be mobile linux internet terminals, but this idea of "nerds will always be nerds" is interesting because what exactly makes somebody a nerd and why is that impossible to change?

If I had to quantify it, it would be a very linear progression of thought, a inherent drive toward technophilia and an exceptional grasp/uptake of new technologies. It isn't so specific to a set of traits like other "labels", most often professions (engineers are inherent problem solvers; lawyers naturally adopt rhetoric; doctors are system thinkers).

Why is it impossible to change? Short of ERCPs or traumatic brain injuries, it's fairly hard to permanently rewire personality in adulthood.

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And here it is: if you h... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 8:12 AM | Posted by Reader: | Reply

And here it is: if you have any brains/decency you stay away from people under 18 years of age even if it's legal to do them and even if they think they want it.
Western-centrism for the win.

Calling out "18" as the magic number with some self-apparent value is tantamount to calling any country who uses a lower number barbaric and trying to gentrify them.

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Depends how you define "ner... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 9:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Reader's comment, by AnAnon: | Reply

Depends how you define "nerd" really (and if you're talking about elementary and high school or the young adult world). If by nerd you mean someone with Asperger's, I'm with you. However, just being good at technology - even open source technology - doesn't make one a nerd in the same way it did back before the internet (you know, when everyone walked 3 miles uphill backwards to school), which is what middle aged people think about when they think about technological proficiency but not so much younger people. Mainly because technology is ubiquitous and it's old people who can't understand or deal with it.

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I would be interested to se... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 9:33 AM | Posted by rox: | Reply

I would be interested to see studies into this but I think that maturity is affected by cultural expectations and practice with HAVING to use maturity and critical thinking.

The brain reaches some sort of maturation completion around 23 or so which is around when humans finish college, interestingly and I wonder if that is different in cultures that expect kids to be adults at 10-14 when they are expected to do a similar work load as adults, take care of children, and do everything the adults are doing; and there is no extended education and learning period of continued brain development.

The average 14 year could easily vacuum, do laundry and even care for a baby and manage a home- if it were required and she had been trained to learn how to do this for many years.

I do not believe in cultural immunity. You do something that is damaging to someone else, it doesn't matter if "everyone else is doing it" and that goes for our culture as well; although I do have compassion and understanding for the fact that we are often blind to the vices of our cultures even when we want to understand.

What happens to the babies that come of these unions with adults and teens? If you're an adult and you know she is not mature enough to raise a child, then you should not be having sex with her. In some cultures if an adult impregnated a teen they would be expected to marry (or worst case the woman would be executed)-- and the adult who chose to impregnate this teen would be required to care for her, financially support her, and help her mature to raise the child.

I'm not saying that's a super awesome solution--- but I have no doubt these guys that think having sex with teens is so great have absolutely ZERO concern for how much they may be totally destroying another humans life. They don't have to get pregnant, they don't have to choose abortion, parenting inadequately, or adoption. They don't have to go through the reality of not wanting any of those options and having no choice but to pick one. Statistically, in the US older guys are not using condoms or making sure the teen is on birth control--

So yes cultural differences might make the age of maturity different, but the adult-teen dynamic can still be exploitive even if it's common in a culture.

And interstingly I notice how often men are complaining about welfare moms and how the state shouldn't support them. Maybe if these adults who impregnate teens would pay for the moms to adequately care for their children we wouldn't need such a government service. (And no 20% of say 24,000 a year income which is about 400 dollars a month will not even near help a mother pay for day care-housing-food-toys-clothes-diapers if she is earning 8 dollars an hour).

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I showed that ad to my ipho... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Posted by Leigh: | Reply

I showed that ad to my iphone and it cried.

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EH-- LOL I sympathize--- gr... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 10:06 AM | Posted by rox: | Reply

EH-- LOL I sympathize--- grown ups having sex with 15 year old is totally an unapealling topic. I also sympathize with the fact that many of us felt compelled to say something. Such is life!

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...

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Ah yes, "such is life." Why... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Posted by EH: | Reply

Ah yes, "such is life." Why sugarcoat an abdication of responsibility, just channel my downstairs twentysomething living-with-parents dude and say you don't give a fuck.

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EH--Do you need a hug? : ) ... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Posted by Rox: | Reply

EH--Do you need a hug? : )

(PS-- You're off topic as well, egads!!)

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I wonder if that is diff... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Posted by Roar: | Reply

I wonder if that is different in cultures that expect kids to be adults at 10-14

No Rox, girls in those parts of the world are no different than the ones in the US. They may know all about the physical aspects of taking care of a home/baby but emotionally they are just as unprepared for it as a girl in the States would be. The results make the teen mom reality programs on your channel look like a trip to Disney.

More often than not they grow up to be very unhappy, unfulfilled women who pester their families and neighbors. The smarter ones enable their daughters a more western upbringing and don't force them to marry as early. The poor ones don't have any choice but to perpetuate the cycle.

And yes Reader, we know that 18 is not a magic number but if the maturity difference is large enough to raise eyebrows you're doing it wrong.

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To clarify, I wonder if the... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2010 7:10 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

To clarify, I wonder if the kind of brain maturation I've read happens in early twenties in our culture nowadays is different in other cultures. I.E. the observable brain growth ceases as new learning drops off.

In other cultures as well as in our past extended families were more involved. My great grandmother and grandmother all were raised and helped raise all of their siblings and they were both making children by mid teens. Again, not saying it's ideal, but there were many many family member making it work together. It was messed up, there often wasn't enough food to eat-- but these ladies have skills that I could never compete with. They worked outside the home, and made dresses, raised animals, grew vegetables, and kept the house spotless, and cooked elaborate dishes. I'm not saying they liked it, but the way they parented as poor 17 year olds was drastically different than what I see with the expectant teens that I support. They are terrified because they have NO IDEA HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.

I know too many older women that had kids when they were 16 or 17 and don't regret it to say that everyone is doomed in such situations. I think it's fair to say there will be struggle, but I don't think it's fair to wipe away the reality of many human beings who are happy with their past. Most of the women I know who were happier though, did tend to luck out with a supportive husband.

But I think we agree that no one should be encouraged or forced to deal with that kind of hardship, and I personally believe that teens that do wind up in that situation (either by choice, coercion, or force) would benefit from support, guindance with parenting issues (and obviously access to an abortion if that is their choice).

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A woman is either ready to ... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 9:49 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

A woman is either ready to have sex, or she isn't.

of course, a young person may be scarred if she has sex too soon, for the wrong reasons and with the wrong people.

But if she is mature enough to have sex at all, what's the difference between having sex with another 16 year old, or a 30 year old? IT seems like having sex with a boy her own age protects her from psychological scarring and unwanted pregnancies.

A woman is either ready for sex with a partner of any age, or she isn't ready to have sex at all.

My other point is that there are 16, 17 year old who are fully adult in their sexuality and know exactly what they are doing when they are the initiators of the seduction of an older man. Should the man be thrown in jail in this scenario too?

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just wanted to say that I'm... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

just wanted to say that I'm open to any reasoning supporting the belief that 16\17yo may be too stupid\immature to have sex at all.

But I refuse the notion that a 16 yo can be mature enough to have sex with a 16 yo man but not with a 26 yo man. That's bullshit.

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Thanks for sharin'.... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 11:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by EH: | Reply

Thanks for sharin'.

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Steve we can oversimplify.<... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 1:02 PM | Posted by Roar: | Reply

Steve we can oversimplify.

16 yo girl with 19 yo guy? Romeo and Juliet.

16 yo girl with a 30 yo guy? WTF, did the world run out of women?

No reason for a man his age to do this, (considering what his options are) unless he's either a perv or for some reason unable to deal with life/other adults on adult terms. (I've seen both.)

I've seen the opposite too - 30 yo woman with a 17 yo boy. I found that just as wrong. I'm an equal opportunity moralist.

And as for 16 yo knowing what they want, sorry they don't have the experience to know what they want. Mature guys know that so they say thanks but not thanks. That's exactly what some males really speculate on - that she doesn't have the experience to recognize what a loser he is yet.

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Steve - The difference is t... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 5:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Steve - The difference is the power/knowledge differential - that's what makes it inappropriate. It's just as inappropriate when a woman does it to a boy for exactly the same reasons. Or when a person of normal intelligence/mental health takes advantage of someone who is too mentally disabled to be equally responsible for themselves.

One thing you may not realize is that some women consider this kind of thing inappropriate because they've experienced it themselves or seen it happen to other girls when they were young. It's usually some creepy older guy who is on the lookout for girls who are having trouble at home. Of course, most middle aged men who fantasize about 16 year olds who "want" them never have sex with any that do - though to keep their fantasy going they like to pretend that it's older women cockblocking them and not the fact that the vast majority of 16 year olds prefer boys around about their own age not 40 year olds.

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And this is why I'm so happ... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2010 11:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Tony: | Reply

And this is why I'm so happy to be a man who enjoys the company of other men. We can be pigs with one another and no one cares.

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Steve - Again this i... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2010 12:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Steve -
Again this is the same anon you were talking to earlier (railing against the pedos).

Having sex is not decided independently. It is usually a mutual decision between two people. 16 year olds (BTW this is the "higher end" of the ephebophilia range... ephebophilia defines sexual attraction to people older than grade school but younger than college)... 16 year olds are programmed to listen and obey adults. Do you remember being 16? I do. When I was 16, 30 was ANCENT. 30 year olds were like 40 year old and 50 year olds. They were old, they were adults. Even 26 year olds seemed kind of old at 16. When you are 16, anyone over 24 is an adult and they are to be obeyed.

So, now, imagine the problem when you are a 15 year old kid... just stopped playing with barbie dolls a few years ago, just got your period 3 years ago, not finished with puberty yet, still mostly a kid in your mind... now imagine if some 30 year old creeper dude wants to feel you up because you are womanly enough for him to want to fuck you, like some kind of masturbation toy. This guy doesn't give a shit about you, you're nothing but a piece of ass to him... and you, as a 15 year old kid, are waaaay too naive and childish to know anything at all much about the nature of men or sex. It is beyond EASY for him to tell you the right things and pressure you into sex, whether or not you are ready or even fully understand.

It's different when it's two teenagers having awkward fumbling sex together. It's mutual, it's even... neither is wise, both are discovering sex together, neither is really being manipulated and pressured in quite the same way as a little girl and a full grown adult man (where in which the adult man has all the power and control because he is the adult and she is the child and she has that programmed instinct to trust adults, like her teachers and her parents).


Sorry steve but you are really sounding like a pedo here. You are really sounding like one of those guys who picks up high school girls and fucks with their minds and uses their bodies because it's just so easy to do.

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If you can't see the differ... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2010 12:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If you can't see the difference between a 16 yr old having sex with another stupid naive awkward 16 year old, vs a 16 year old having sex with a 45 year old man who has money, a job, knowledge, experience... well I can't fucking help you then, steve, as you are too obtuse to even communicate with.

It's sorta like two kids in the school yard playing rock paper scissors, vs some dumb shit playing 2 card monte on the street corner with a professional swindler. The two kids randomly throwing out rock paper or scissor are learning together about each other (he tends to throw rock, I'll throw paper... she throws scissors I'll throw rock). They both start out from a platform of ignorance and together they learn about each other and the thought processes of others in general.

On the other hand, a dumb kid who just got off the path train at new york (a little piece of chicken) on his visit to the big city, running into a professional swindler playing card games... yea, that is sorta like an old man and a 16 year old girl. The swindlers knows ALL ABOUT how people think and how to manipulate them into giving up their money, and he is practically salivating at this piece of chicken in front of him. The kid thinks this is all new and exciting and he could win big, too stupid and ignorant to know the way of the world and criminals.

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The first casualty of your ... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2010 3:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Z. Constantine: | Reply

The first casualty of your wrath was your credibility: a little works in moderation, but then only if you have a name to back it up.

Having been an awkward nerd throughout my adolescence, I must say that I'm thankful for the ephebophiles in my life... Thanks, Mrs. Robinson! :D

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Thanks for reminding me why... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2010 10:56 PM | Posted by Jasmine: | Reply

Thanks for reminding me why I don't watch TV!

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Well, I'm glad I don't watc... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2010 9:40 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, I'm glad I don't watch TV or buy phones or care about subcultural stereotypes.

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Presumably you keep tabs on... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2010 1:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EH: | Reply

Presumably you keep tabs on subcultural stereotypes enough to stay away from them. Either that, or, y'know...Kaczynski.

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Eminem and Diddy both did c... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2011 8:32 AM | Posted by OhioStater: | Reply

Eminem and Diddy both did car commercials in the Super Bowl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLVCjnEGrqQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srvlAA-vGKg

Diddy's role was clear: a symbol of consumption and affluence whites can recognize, like you reference above. It's as-if rich blacks are like the spoiled dogs at the Westminster Kennel Show, the ultimate display of someone's "Veblen-esque" conspicuous leisure.

Eminem's role seemed like that of an elder statesman, or as a symbol of Detroit. Compared to Diddy's role, Eminem's role was unclear.

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Dear fucking god almighty. ... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2011 2:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Walenty Lisek's comment, by S: | Reply

Dear fucking god almighty. A friend of mine has a beautiful 13 year old daughter that adult men hit on. We don't protect her because we're jealous of the attention she's getting. We protect her because we're terrified she's going to get manipulated or forced into something she's not interested in.

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