17 April 2009

we don't need another hero

Damn, I started this post and then lost the lot. Oh well...now what did I say?

I actually started by reflecting on work from home. I don't feel very Friday-ish because for the last two days I've stayed home so as to minimise the broadcasting of whatever lurgy it is that I have, the symptoms being sore glands, bunged up nose, headache. Not really bad but enough to not inflict on the office.

However as I have a 3G enabled laptop (in the loosest possible interpretation of the word 'enable', that is) I can still operate. And because we have a few intensive things on the go at the moment, I haven't got that 'yay, Friday, quick post with some appropriate YouTube clip' feeling.

But, we shall plod on regardless. Via
Bookforum, excellent as always, we learn of a magazine called Good. Kind of strikes the right note, doesn't it? And in Good, learn various things associated with bottled water. As always, one particular phrase might make more of an impression than its neighbouring words:

Every bottle of water in the country might as well have a stamp that says “Approved by Bob.
Yes, quite Good.

Very fortunately, I think, the Ayn Rand cult never took hold in Australia to the same extent it did in the US. Even now, US philosophy and economics journals are an ongoing battleground between the true believers, known as Randroids, and normal people who recognise human frailty as a non-negotiable part of life (whoa, I first wrote 'existence' and then realised what I'd done. Close call). This article, from the Guardian (UK) I notice, is beaut but, as always, the comments are better. One commenter simply posts a well known quote (I say well-known simply because I've run across it before):

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
This excerpt from the article itself also caught my eye:

He has also encouraged several other similar heroes to join him. These are all supermen: supremely intelligent, rich, very good-looking and clever. Without them the world outside begins to collapse and destroy itself, as a collection of two-dimensional "college educated" caricatures pass increasingly idiotic legislation in the name of "essential need", and feed ever more hungrily on the few producers whom Galt has not yet taken to Colorado.
And the reason it caught my eye was because only a little earlier, over dinner, I saw this in the Business Review Weekly:

"The five o'clock shadow, square jaw and broad shoulders have muscled their way
back on to the catwalk and catalogues of leading men's fashion brands as the global financial crisis leaves the Western world hankering for heroes. Myer national corporate affairs manager Mitch Catlin says the metrosexual look has been dropped in favour of a more traditional image of masculinity."

So it looks like Rand was right - in a limited sort of way.

Reading on, we find:

"The credit crunch has left the metrosexual lost and afraid," a lecturer in marketing and retail at London Metropolitan University, Jeremy Baker, says. "The economic crisis has provoked a rapid change in the man of our ideals. The machosexual has been forced to emerge with a desire to be the pioneer of change, to lead everybody out of the current economic mess."

Leaving aside the utter superficiality of the analysis ("I've got a BA in retail", what a conversation-stopper), the fatuousness of the notion of only certain folks being lost and afraid (seen any news clips of big tough miners crying because they've lost their jobs - no metrosexuals there), I have to ask you: "Machosexual?" "Lead us out of the economic mess?"

(Drum roll). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: (BOO!).

Well that has to be enough silliness for one Friday. Tomorrow I pay for my working days at home because I'm working again - real stuff with real people. In the meantime, as always, we need a little something to help us slide into the weekend. And today it's a video from the cheesy 80s, but it brings back many memories for me - where I was working in the mid-eighties we had a self-run club where we'd go for (many, many) drinks each Friday night. There was a video and data projector and I had about half a dozen tapes from Rage and similar music video programs that I'd put on. This was one. Enjoy it for what it is.

Update: Whoa, Randian references is everywherez.


Bwca Brownie said...

friggin metrosexual models, and all the silliness surrounding them, culminating really, in that BOSS with the Fin Review, is
precisely what has brought everything to the ridiculous point it is now.

Weekend papers trail before me a parade of $1500 footwear, $900 miniskirts, and $4000 handbags,
and I wonder who the bloody fk buys all that crap and what job do they have and what on earth are they being paid and is it justified.

I received an unsolicited credit card in the mail back in the 1970's.
Currently I have 3 unsolicited invitations to extend my credit limit to 'Platinum' and what a stupid branding device the name is.

and the Kafka-esque telco Tefka 3G is powering this laptop when it feels like it, so I am keeping a desktop doc with a log of all the dropouts
(which usually occur when I key 'publish', causing me to lose gem comments like this one.


phil said...

Yes, I think we're all getting a little sick of the notion that branding and marketing drives all other activity.

JahTeh said...

1. I never got the hang of either of those books, must be stunted brain growth.

2. Ever kissed a 5 o'clock shadow?
Give me a clean shaven, clean smelling metro any day.

3. Agree with Bwca, who can pay for all that expensive crap especially when it's branded and you become the walking advert.

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