[rumori] What's True

Steev [rumori] What's True
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 11:32:52 -0800 (PST) (00914009572, Pine.LNX.4.05.9812181045420.6846-100000atflotsam.detritus.net)

On Fri, 18 Dec 1998 dserklandatnish.org wrote:

[kevin said:]

>> thus you have beavis and butthead (supposedly the
>>anti-role models) endorsing whatever's supposed to be cool like white
>>zombie or ween or whatever the programmers probably like. am i, the
>>consumer supposed to buy white zombie thinking i'll be cool? or am i
>>supposed to think that i'll be a loser like beavis or butthead?
>I don't think B&B are a marketing scheme, I thought Mike Judge still had

hah! you're kidding, right? true, they werent a marketing scheme when
they first were created and were just little shorts in various film
festivals (i think the first beavis and butthead i saw was "frog baseball" in a Sick and Twisted Animation Festival, in about 1990 or so). But once
they got on MTV they definitely became a marketing tool. Why do you think
they have them watching videos all the time?! Just for the artistry of it?

It's all market segmentation, and the old "even bad press is good press" rule. When Beavis and Butthead make fun of Spice Girls, they create a
market segment. If you think they're cool, you agree with them and hate
the spice girls. or even if you don't, the spice girls are still exposed
to your brain ONE MORE TIME. It's fun to hate the spice girls! Look how
many anti-spice girls webpages there are. people put lots of time and
money and effort into hating them. But that doenst mean they've escaped
the marketing machine. The spice girls have "mind share", and hence, market share.

Read the zine "Stay Free!", especially the latest issue. Read "Amusing Ourselves To Death" by Neil Postman. Read "The Unreality Industry".

>sometimes I think Mike speaks directly through them because B&B sometimes
>say stuff just too out of character for their two-dimensional archetypes.

that;s just for humor value. The irony of Beavis occasionally saying
something intellectual is just a joke, a postmodern conceit bent to the
will of selling CD's and sneakers. And notice that whenever he does that,
Butthead tells him to "shut the hell up."
Don't believe the hype, man.

>"Cool" is kind of a classification for an elite group, basically. It

ehhhh... i wouldnt really use the word elite myself. but yeah, it does
define a subgroup which you are "in" and others are "out" of. But "elite" connotes a priveleged class, whereas the original "cool" or "hip" described an outcast, often working-class type. Advertisting still makes
use of this trope, selling things with rebellion and "outsider chic".
[Advertising used to (pre-late 50s) concentrate on selling things by
promising the consumer's inclusion in a upper-class, high-society sort of
situation if you used the product (cocktail parties at the country club,
that sort of thing) . But that started to change in the late
50s. Things started to center more around youth, outcasts, rebels, and
now what could even be labelled "losers".]

>designates a portion of the population as being special and better (?) But
>it depends on how you define cool. Big companies trying to find mass
>appeal have used cool as a marketing device by altering the original
>definition of "hip" to suit their needs.

not so much altering, but leaving out some things. like, as you say below,
the use of drugs. the rage.

more reading recommendations: "The Conquest of Cool", which i already mentioned. by Thomas Frank.

>Originally when someone was "hip" or "hep" it meant they smoked MJ or
>generally, had some kinda counter-cultural views. But you can't sell Levi's
>to millions of upstanding American citizens if you endorse That. Marketers
>like to talk the talk.

One thing that Frank's book shows, though, is that in the 60s
advertisers actually WERE hip. At least the successful ones. incense and
pot in the office, Nehru jackets and love beads, this was all part of the
new "creative revolution" in the advertising industry. The advertisers werent simply stealing and exploiting the hip culture, in a way they were
participating in it.

However, I think things have swung back a ways and you can't really say
that about today's Madison Avenue. Though I've dealt with some young ad
agency types that have all the right feathers. But you can still smell the
advertiser stench on them, even over the phone.

More related reading: "The White Negro" by Norman Mailer. written in 1958, its the archtypal hipster analysis, predating and predicting all the
upheavals about to take place in the 60s. It's really amazing, though
almost ridiculously anachronistic now. Mailer seemed to think the hipster
was the last hope of a dying society, a criminal psychopath adventurer and
sexual hero who would renenergize the world in his quest for kicks and the
perfect orgasm. It's well worth reading if you can find it. It's part of
a collection of his stuff called "Advertisements for Myself".

>The Message in the nineties seems encourage individualism ("its cool to be
>an individual," and I think that's a good thing), but is that being lost on
>some people? Is marketing "cool" a contradiction?

Individualism has been the message of this entire country since its
inception. Perhaps even of our entire modern western eurocentric
civilization. I think we have plenty. People only thinking of
themselves is bad.

Would non-conformity be a better word for what you're talking about?
If so, I agree, yes, people are losing it, they're buing the cool
rebellion outcast products that everyone else is buying, so they can
fit in. cuz it's cool, man. groovy.

this thread is getting long enoug i think. let's get back to

hey everyone, what's your favorite sample-based artwork (pop culture
included) of 1998?


Steev Hise, WebSlinger
steevathise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net -----------------------------------------------------------------
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