Irreverent gifts

So you’ve decided to go to the relatives for the Holidays, and this year you think you’ll deepen your family relationhips by letting them know what you think of Religion, Evolution, Sex and Palin.  And you’ll do it in funny ways.

Of course, that won’t work and I bet you know it.  Or you are very fortunate because they’ve actually tried to listen to you already.   Otherwise, there will just be this ghastly silence as they open their cute gifts.  But if you really are going to try anyway, think of going here.  It’s merciless.

My best favorite, which is on my car: cat emblem kitty pets






Some others:  Atheism Cures Religious Terrorism agnostics godless non-believers realists buttonM-WomenMug.gifWhen You See A Rainbow GLBT gay lesbian sticker

The Pre-Botox Era


“Woman wearing a magnetic collar to dissipate wrinkles and slow aging process of cells.” Bel Air, CA, US, 1961.

Yikes. (Maybe we don’t need the Panopticon analogy to make that women-as-prisoners-of-the-fashion-beauty-complex* idea work.)

From Boing Boing. (Thanks, Mr Jender!)

*Sandra Bartky, “Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power”, Femininity and Domination.

“Whopper Virgins.” Seriously.

So Burger King came up with a new idea:  let’s do a taste test comparison between McDonald’s and Burger King that uses people so outside our culture that they are Whopper Virgins, people who have never tasted a hamberger before.  And here is the result, which may herald a new day in advertising.  That is, the commercial as documentary.  The video below is over 7 minutes; much shorter parts can be found here and here.

Well, what can one say?  This just shows there are no limits? 

There have been objections, but the ad people I’ve seen discussing it take the “there is no  bad publicity” approach.   Here  are some of the problems:

– The film doesn’t even hint at the  fact that there are problems with hunger and starvation around the world.

– The subjects are getting the worst in American food values.

– The subjects, many of whom appear to be dressed in special “‘traditional dress” are presented often as oddities with whom one cannot identify.  You know that problem:  people are treated as means, not ends.

– AND, who ever had the idea that the best judges are completely inexperienced?  This is the American myth that  gave us Sarah Palin.  Seriously, whose view of a restaurant would you trust:  someone who has been to a lot or someone who has been to none before?

–  And then there’s the phrase, “Whopper Virgin.”  Snicker, snicker.  The frat boys appear to be on the rise.

All that said, the film has some moments of beauty, I  thought (grudgingly), and the ‘natives’ do often preserve an impressive  dignity even though they clearly think the whole thing is pretty wierd.