[rumori] world's greatest media jammer weighs in (fwd)

Steev [rumori] world's greatest media jammer weighs in (fwd)
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:56:28 -0700 (PDT) (00900730588, Pine.LNX.3.95.980717115137.24959C-100000ATflotsam.detritus.net)

Joey Skaggs addresses the www.ourfirsttime.com spectacle.

for more fair use fun, see the parody site, www.ourfirstanalsex.com,
set up by a friend of mine, Jeremy.


Steev Hise, Syssy Admin
steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net -----------------------------------------------------------------
"We are not isolated by distance, but by greed, and our racist history.
... And when the system starts to crack,
we'll have to be ready to give it all back." -Chumbawamba

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:58:24 -0700
From: snarlyATsnarly.com
To: ccATcyborganic.com
Subject: world's greatest media jammer weighs in

CyberWire Dispatch // Copyright (c) July 16, 1998 // All rights reserved

Jacking in from the "Reel Them In Like A Trout" Port:
A Virgin Hoax
By Joey Skaggs
Special to CyberWire Dispatch

Numerous journalists and individuals have contacted me in the last 24 hours
to ask if I am responsible for the live virgin lovefest that's about to take
place on the Internet at <http://www.ourfirsttime.com>. I'm not. But here's my take on it: It's a scam. It's an ad. It's porno. Somebody's doing this
for money. And it's so obvious that I can't believe the attention the media
is giving this story.

If I'm wrong, I'll eat my shorts-on the Internet.

[Editor's Note: Should this occur, no doubt it would be to great fanfare.
But let me save CNN and the New York Times a big embarrassment as they no
doubt would be all over this follow-up story. CWD has it on excellent
authority-Skaggs himself-that he wears no underwear_ as usual he is the
consummate prankster.]

Even I might have given the media more credit than this. This is a blatant
example of advertising and marketing executives taking advantage of the
media's vulnerability to yank-the-wanky, more-to-cum stories. And the media
is obliging by helping to promote large scale participatory voyeurism. They
should know better. They've bought into one of their own tease tactics-"Will they or won't they? Tune in August 4!"
Hey guys, let's question the intent of this promotion. It's so obviously
transparent. The identities of the two kids are vague and withheld. They
look like they are straight from central casting. The site is sophisticated
and slick. It's really a sophomoric attempt at culture jamming. And they've
got a lawyer spokesperson. (The latter should be enough of a clue right
there. Because in my book "lawyer" is synonymous with "liar").
And if that's not enough, they've resorted to planting a controversy within
a hoax-one of my tactics-suggesting that "individuals and religious groups" are spamming them, trying to shut them down. This is an attempt to deflect
serious questioning of their basic premise. Suddenly the media is reporting
these allegations without smelling the rotten fish here.

So, what exactly is the media helping them sell? Everybody needs to
question the intent of this "news" item. Because essentially what we're getting here is media masturbation.

It amuses me to see a hoax used as a form of advertising and marketing. But
this is nothing new. Mainstream advertisers have traditionally co-opted new
trends and alternative culture, i.e., beatniks, hippies, punks, Gen X'ers...
and turned the "alternative" into the mainstream. Their tactic is to clone cultural trappings so they can be perceived as hip and trendy and thereby
appeal to a non questioning consumer audience. I call it "faux-radical" advertising.

They're using subversive advertising techniques for mainstream advertising
on the Internet, attracting mainstream media.

Here's a good example-the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe meme. A woman thought
she bought the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe for $2.50. When
she got her credit card bill, she'd been charged $250. She called to protest
but was told there was no mistake and that she could not have a refund
because she already had the recipe. To get revenge she posted the recipe on
the Internet, making it free and available to the public. This urban legend
was widely reported by the press.

The reality, as I was told by a high level executive at Neiman Marcus, is
that the Neiman Marcus marketing department created this story and posted it
on the Internet themselves to generate controversy for the purpose of
attracting name recognition.

[Editor's Note: A Neiman Marcus spokeswoman denied that the company was the
genesis of the cookie recipe hoax. Skaggs may be an infamous prankster but
he is not a liar. If I were going to throw cash on a bet as to whose story
to believe in the great cookie controversy, I'm betting on Skaggs.]

Soon I expect to see mainstream advertisers creating their own anti-
billboard billboards to advertise their products. But I have confidence that
people will see right through to the heart of this advertising ploy. Which
doesn't do anything to help the already tarnished image of the media these

This co-opting of culture jamming techniques just makes the
artists/activists job more challenging. But, unfortunately, this doesn't
worry me. It seems the media is slow to learn. That's my take on it. Enough

Stay tuned.


Joey Skaggs, is an artist and media activist. You can check out his work at
www.skaggs.com or contact him at skaggsATjoeyskaggs.com or via the old
fashioned technology called a phone at 212-254-7878

marjorieATcyborganic.net http://www.snarly.com obizuthATwell.com