Sunday, December 11, 2005

dec 5 issue: ads get me all bothered and hot

"Talk of the Town, Waling"

OK, everyone knows better than to read these Talk of the Town In Which Everyone has Too Much Money and Time on their Hands pieces. Which are often interspersed with Charming Episodes from a Life of Manual Labor. But not me. I read all about the corduroy club.

And I became a little suspcious when I read the following, "Chris Lindland, the creator of Cordarounds - trousers made of horizontal corduroy - and the evening's keynote speaker, had flown in from San Francisco."

Horizontal corduroys? Why does that sound familiar? BECAUSE THEY ARE ADVERTISED IN THE BACK OF THE NEW YORKER. Not the Dec 5 issue, which is even more annoying. But the Dec 12th issue (199), and issues from earlier in the fall.

What is next? An interview with a woman who has every species of animal known to man represented in handcrafted jewelry? An investigation into how a $125 cashmere watchcap produces "a peaceful disposition" and for whom? An expose of what, exactly, a blo-poke does and whether it comes discreetly wrapped in brown paper?

Taking their editorial content from their own advertisements. How dinky local magazine is that?

21st Century Venus, Back Cover Ad.

Image: A young woman, clad in scanty white sheets, stands with the sea and sky behind her. She looks like Botticelli's Birth of Venus - there is the static quality of the background, the sea and the cloudy sky, her blowing hair, the strategically placed knot. But this Venus is very "natural" looking - she's got freckles, her brows are dark and her features are asymmetrical. But where is the clam? Don't even ask.

Text: "Motopebl. Looks like a pebble. Feels like a pebble. But twitch your hand just slightly and this natural clam opens smoothly to reveal 21st century technology."

I kid you not. Pebble, twitch, open, clam, 21st century technology. A veritable hotbed of metaphor, metonomy and innuendo.

Here's a sense of what the ads look like. This one is a little different, and still disorientingly offensive. The commentator is struck by the use of the phrase "natural clam." You can't not be.

FYI, for those disoriented by my gender, I am, for all intents and purposes, a happily married woman.



Blogger sepoy said...

In a blatant look forward, I would like to say that Ian Frazier's Hog essay felt a bit, essayish. A few weeks ago, he had a nice small piece about crunching acorns under his boots. I loved it and remember making a mental note, 'this ian frazier dude is not a bad essayist'. but, here comes this 'obvious' entry.
also, the obl in highschool is such an obvious 'pitch'.

11:54 PM  
Blogger zoe p. said...

oddly, you are not skipping ahead as far as i am concerned. i got my dec 12 issue before my dec 5 issue.

i don't know that you and i will have a spirited discussion of the hog essay. i'm not sure i can read it. wait, maybe i will - i told my undergrads once that i had been riding my bicycle and come across some wild boars and i think they thought i was entirely out to lunch. one of those moments when they realize they just don't know that much about me. they just couldn't imagine me on a bicycle, for one. and two, in wild boar country. little do they know, we're surrounded . . .

i had no idea what you meant by "obl" but a few seconds on goolgle now i get it. THAT obl. maybe the nyer got the idea from Time. i was flipping through an issue of Time (in the Starbucks, in a grocery store, at 2 AM, while waiting for a tow truck, more on that later) and i saw a very sensationalistic piece on "recruiting the young" . . .

my time with Time experience was quite sobering. i ought to love my nyer and Hersh's thing on the dangers of an air war, at least it's news . . . Time also had a women in the military makeover. i agree, they need one, but not that kind. brighter lipstick isn't exactly going to solve the ethical problems of torture . . .

10:34 AM  

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