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    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.

Friday, December 08, 2006
 Don't Patronize Me    [L]

Or I won't patrionize you.

Let me explain.

No, there is too much.

Let me sum up:

I enjoy listening to talk radio. But just as each segment really starts to take off, it gets rudely interrupted by advertisements - a reality of our capitalistic society. Most ads are, at best, unobtrustive and easily ignored.

Recently however, there has been one type of egregiously outrageous spot that completely and utterly grates at my ears - one that causes me actual physical pain - one that makes me turn off the radio in disgust - one so wholly demeaning, patronizing, and debilitating to the soul of man:

Yes, i'm talking about jewelry commercials.

Most of them have the same theme, but JBR's in particular is particularly loathsome. They all go something like this:
Woman speaking: Honey, you're an absolute moron when it comes to satisfying my lust for shiny baubles with no functional value. You wouldn't want me to buy you tools because I don't know a power drill from a power toothbrush. Likewise, you also have no clue when it comes to choosing an aesthetically pleasing hunk of metal and carbon, because let's face it honey, you're a man, and men don't have style or an eye for beauty. Also, you could never satisfy my wants without outside help, because even though I'm apparently important enough to you that you would spend gobs of your hard-earned money on a small trinket, you don't know me well enough to choose something I'd like. So go to [insert jewelry store], and ask one of their salespeople for help in choosing the most expensive item available. Because if you don't, you obviously don't love me.

And i'm only slightly paraphrasing.

Does this sort of demeaning advertisement actually work? Do they really think that by insulting our intelligence serves to increase their sales? Is it really the case that men have so little sense of aesthetics?

I submit that it is not the case. I have no actual data on this, but I'd bet that the majority of mass-market jewelry has been designed and crafted by men. After all, the entire idea of jewelry, the basis of its existence, is to help men impress women. Obviously the market was created by capitalistic men seizing the opportunity to make a buck so that another man may woo a lady.

Unfortunately, this type of emasculating advertisement is merely the latest salvo in the long battle against the traditional man. A few decades ago, the traditional man was respectable: logical, practical, well-rounded, and eminently capable. Today's image? Clueless, lazy, inept, and utterly useless without a woman's guidance.

Some people may say that this is merely a reversal of perception - that decades ago, the roles were reversed. These people are feminists. And again, with no facts but feeling, I will wager that even if the reversal was true, that there is no way that the women back then were treated with as much disrespect and contempt as today's man.

I worry for the upcoming generation of men breast-fed this steaming pile of lies, this outrageous caricature of the common man. How can they grow up to be logical, pratical, well-rounded, and capable when they don't even know that's an option?

Kim du Toit sums it up in The Pussification of the Western Male:
What I care about is the fact that since the beginning of the twentieth century, there has been a concerted campaign to denigrate men, to reduce them to figures of fun, and to render them impotent, figuratively speaking.

I’m going to illustrate this by talking about TV, because TV is a reliable barometer of our culture.

In the 1950s, the TV Dad was seen as the lovable goofball—perhaps the beginning of the trend—BUT he was still the one who brought home the bacon, and was the main source of discipline (think of the line: “Wait until your father gets home!").

From that, we went to this: the Cheerios TV ad.

Now, for those who haven’t seen this piece of [filth], I’m going to go over it, from memory, because it epitomizes everything I hate about the campaign to pussify men. The scene opens at the morning breakfast table, where the two kids are sitting with Dad at the table, while Mom prepares stuff on the kitchen counter. The dialogue goes something like this:

Little girl (note, not little boy): Daddy, why do we eat Cheerios?
Dad: Because they contain fiber, and all sorts of stuff that’s good for the heart. I eat it now, because of that.
LG: Did you always eat stuff that was bad for your heart, Daddy?
Dad (humorously): I did, until I met your mother.
Mother (not humorously): Daddy did a lot of stupid things before he met your mother.

Now, every time I see that TV ad, I have to be restrained from shooting the TV with a .45 Colt. If you want a microcosm of how men have become less than men, this is the perfect example.

What Dad should have replied to Mommy’s little dig: Yes, Sally, that’s true: I did do a lot of stupid things before I met your mother. I even slept with your Aunt Ruth a few times, before I met your mother.

That’s what I would have said, anyway, if my wife had ever attempted to castrate me in front of the kids like that.
Out there, there is a huge number of men who are sick of it. We’re sick of being made figures of fun and ridicule; we’re sick of having girly-men like journalists, advertising agency execs and movie stars decide on “what is a man”; we’re sick of women treating us like children, and we’re really sick of girly-men politicians who pander to women by passing an ever-increasing raft of Nanny laws and regulations (the legal equivalent of public-school Ritalin), which prevent us from hunting, racing our cars and motorcycles, smoking, flirting with women at the office, getting into fistfights over women, shooting criminals and doing all the fine things which being a man entails.
I don’t see why men should have become feminized, except that we allowed it to happen—and you know why we let it happen? Because it’s g-d easier to do so. Unfortunately, we’ve allowed it to go too far, and our maleness has become too pussified for words.
I want men everywhere to going back to being Real Men. To open doors for women, to drive fast cars, to smoke cigars after a meal, to get drunk occasionally and, in the words of Col. Jeff Cooper, one of the last of the Real Men: “to ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.”

In every sense of the word. We know what the word “is” means.

Companies, beware. I do not enjoy being patronized and belittled. I don't mind the occasional well-deserved lampooning, for if anything I am a man of humor. However, that doesn't mean I'll let you get away with slandering my character. If you're going to mock me, then I simply won't buy anything you.

It's just not good business practice to insult your potential customers.

Oh, and one more gripe: "Every kiss begins with Kay?"
I guess they also think that women are whores for jewelry.

Fortunately, my wife thinks expensive jewelry is an impractical waste of money. When we got married our wedding rings cost about $30 with both of them put together. Five years later we did go out and buy some nicer rings when we could afford it, because honestly the original ones were falling apart. But we still didn't spend some outlandish amount on the new rings.

For her last birthday, I bought her a dishwasher. That's the kind of gift she likes.

By Blogger AlanDP, at 12/08/2006 05:25:00 PM      

man...we really need to start a fight club

By Blogger chad o, at 12/09/2006 03:01:00 AM      

Time for a Guiness and Stoggie night?

By Blogger Aaron, at 12/11/2006 10:14:00 AM      

Not anywhere in Ohio, thanks to that anti-smoking law.

Now, if I could get a keg of Guinness...

By Blogger Chu, at 12/11/2006 11:18:00 AM      

I have utmost confidence that we could get together 10-12 people that are willing to throw in 10 dollars to purchase a keg of Guiness for the holidays. Perhaps an idea that you might want to spread around?

By Blogger Aaron, at 12/12/2006 08:29:00 AM      

Fight club, guiness and stoggies? If you haven't held event this yet, I'm so in.

By Anonymous LeeCav, at 1/19/2007 10:54:00 AM      

^^^ speak up ^^^