What’s in a Name?

One of the world’s most known philosophical questions.  Originally appearing in Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare; one of the most well known plagiarists in history.  Shakespeare sourced his Romeo and Juliet from Masuccio Salernitano’s novella “Mariotto and Giannozza” … Continue reading

It’s Just So…Glamorous?

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In advertising there is usually something about an ad that creates a desire to have something, be like someone, or look like that.  But there’s something about this advert that eliminates all.

Is it because there is absolutely no eye contact within the text giving the impression of complete detachment?  Is it because the models are completely expressionless (except maybe the guy furthest from the front with expression that looks slightly concerned, but that could just be bad modelling)?  Or is it the fact that there is only one woman in swimmers being held down (yes, HELD DOWN) by a half naked man surrounded by four (there’s another on the right, but has been cut out in this) male onlookers?

On first glance at this picture it’s the sharpness of the clothes contrasting with bare skin that makes you stop to take notice.  But then it becomes apparent that there is a man dominating a woman, holding her down by the wrist.  All the men are looking down on the woman.  This gives the impression that she is below them, not just physically but in status also.  Though she is wearing the colour of passion on her lips, her face hardly displays passion.  Is it just me or does this have a “gang rape” feel to it?

I’m not an advertising master, but I wouldn’t want my brand associated with the glamourisation of gang rape.  Dolce & Gabbana defended this ad saying it demonstrated the power their clothes gave to wearers in society.  Hmm, right…

In my opinion, Dolce & Gabbana have used this picture to create a controversy based on this to enable them to the wonder that is free advertising.  This ad was released in 2007 and taken down in the same year due to the backlash received over the glamorous depiction of violence against women, mainly in Dolce & Gabbana’s home turf in Spain in which is was banned.  The NOW Foundation has list of offensive ads, this is second on the list.

It’s quite interesting when you Google “dolce and gabbana controversial ads” as it’s not just the one I’ve used that comes up.  There are several ads that have stirred the water over the years.

Do you think this promotes glamourised violence and rape?

Mind Your Mobile Manners!!

Imagine.  You walk into a shop, find the most amazing thing ever and just have to buy it.  You go to the counter to pay and as you are being served your phone rings, it’s the call you’ve been waiting for.  Do you answer?

What about when you go to a lovely, quiet cafe to sit back and soak up the relaxing atmosphere?  It’s not quiet for long when someone two tables over is having a loud conversation with their phone.  Not only do you soak up the atmoshpere, but you soak up everything there is to know about this person’s relationship.  You can feel the frustration emanating from those surrounding you and yet no one says anything.

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Mobile technology has had a massive impact on everyone it is available to and it’s hard not to see the rapid changes in the past few years with the rise in social media.  So is the technology moving faster than our ability to deal with the social implications?  We all know our “please and thank you”s (at least, I hope we do…), they are the basic manners we learn as children.  Then there’s “elbows off the table” and “respect your elders”.  But let’s throw a phone in the mix.

Do we have any widely accepted “rules” when it comes to mobile etiquette?  I decided to do some investigating and found five main rules to consider when using your phone in public.

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5 If you’re with people, don’t check your phone every five seconds.  It’s really off putting and doesn’t make you popular at all.

4 Don’t take phone calls in confined spaces.  This includes but is not limited to; buses, train carriages, toilets etc.

3 Speak softly.  No one wants to know about the fight you had with your partner last night.

2 Find the off button.  There’s nothing worse than being in a dark cinema and someone decides to check their phone during an intense scene.

1 Be mindful of those around you.  If someone is talking to you, put your phone down.

Although this is from an American study by Intel, I found it really interesting.

So…what are your mobile manners like?

Check out the Ten Commandments for Mobile Manners

“théorie du complot” coz everything looks better in French…

Okay, so I read our readings for this week and I know Guildmaster Marko said to write a summary, what interested me and what views I agreed with and didn’t agree with, but I kind of got caught up in a few ideas thanks to the following quote.

“And if we discover that the new medium brings along effects that might be detrimental to our society or culture, we have the opportunity to influence the development and evolution of the new innovation before the effects becomes pervasive.” (Federman, M 2004)

Well that’s nice isn’t it?  I found this quote to have the most impact on me and I apologise in advance for the following rant.

But isn’t it nice to know that there are people out there that are “influencing” new ideas that may have negative effects on our society and culture?  MAY have “detrimental” effects.  Who says the effects are detrimental?  Well, in answer to my own wonderful question, it depends on the perspective taken.  Let’s imagine that an especially innovative group of people create a solar powered smartphone.  They take their genius idea to a phone company, called Pineapple, and ask them to back their creation and get it on the market.  From our perspective a solar powered smartphone would be awesome.  The battery wouldn’t run out, and if it did just sit your phone in the sun for half an hour and voila!!  No need for chargers, phone batteries or to hunt down a powerpoint with 3% charge left. We’d be on a money saving and environmentally sustainable winner!

BUT – and here’s the “detrimental” effect – Pineapple have always sold their wall chargers separately from their phones.  This allowed Pineapple to charge rather excessive prices for their chargers.  So when this especially innovative group of people approach Pineapple with their genius idea of a solar powered smartphone, Pineapple see this creation as a negative.  They predict the sales of their wall chargers will decrease, which will impact production, in turn they will see their profits decrease and have to lay off employees.  And it’s not only Pineapple’s profits that will be effected.  What about the battery company that Pineapple buy their current batteries off?  And electricity companies, whose resources we tap in to every night to charge our phones? 

So, what’s to say that there isn’t some amazing, new, innovative ideas, concepts and creations that would be beneficial to the majority but “detrimental” to the extremely wealthy and powerful minority?  Who, in the end, has the say of what is “detrimental”?

A perfect example of predicting the effects of something new would be that used in our second reading for this week.  On page 5 Jenkins mentions that in the 90s there was a lot of speculation that the internet was going to replace all forms of “old media”.  He uses one example I find quite funny, that this guy, Nicholas Negroponte, predicted the complete collapse of broadcasting networks.  To requote “What will happen to broadcast television over the next five years is so phenominal that it’s difficult to comprehend.”  Well it’s taken about 23 years, but maybe we’ll finally get to see those “phenominal” predictions about broadcasting networks that he seemed so certain of at the time.  Now, what if, when good ol’ Nick had released his bestseller, someone took him seriously and saw this effect he predicted to be “detrimental”?  What would have happened to the greatest innovation of our time if those that saw it as being “detrimental” had the “opportunity to influence the development and evolution” of the internet?  But maybe that actually happened and what we have today is just the product they allowed us to have.  Hmm, something to ponder…

Tune in next week for another conspiracy theory overload!!