Monday thoughts

December 15, 2008

I finally was able to sit down and write some of the introduction to my BA project. I always have a hard time with beginnings, so it is a relief to get started. I was studying for my exam on Thursday – reading a chapter on force and power. It was about discourse analysis and it made me think about my project and why it is relevant to look at how we viewed Germany. I have had a sub consciousness understanding of it all along, but I was now finally able to make the understanding conscious and put it into words. To me that is what good theory should be able to do – help you express the understandings you have as well as challenge and push them. I do not really believe in putting things into boxes for the sake of putting them into boxes. If you fell the need to categorize something it has to be because you want to use that category to something – otherwise it is just utterly pointless.

Rizt or was it Rich’s…

It seem that the extreme bombardment of Rich’s advertisements in the newspapers I looked at last week didn’t even managed to brand their name into me properly. The product was called Rich’s not Rizt as my mom told me this weekend.


Ritz coffee substitution

December 9, 2008

In the research for my BA project I have been looking at a lot of micro-films (totally James Bond – though not as sexy) of old Danish newspapers from 1926. With my background in the graphic business I couldn’t help goggling the ads while I was looking for the articles I needed for the paper. One thing that hit me, other then the amount of fun ads, was how extreamly many ads there was fro Ritz – witch was a Coffee substitution and supplementation back in the days. I mean Coca Cola has nothing on them today. There as a huge advertisements for Ritz in every single newspaper I looked at. So fare I have looked at 4 different newspapers for a period of around twenty days – and in every single one of them there as at least ¼ page ad for the product – more often the ads were a lot bigger. There you can talk about serious marketing and branding!

Another interesting thing I came across then I looked for a picture for this post was that I couldn’t find a picture of even the logo of Ritz – the only thing that shows up is the hotel. Isn’t that interesting that, something that holds about the same place in the minds of our grand parents as Coca Cola does for us today has totally drifted out of our common consciousness? I can’t even find a picture! I mean I can find pictures of people’s grandparents then they were 2 from 1933 – no problem but a picture of a huge brand that has gone out of production is – perhaps not impossible, but very hard to find. I will hunt down one of the funny ads for you – it must be possible to find a scanner so I can scan one of the old funny ads for you.

Sex and Gender

December 9, 2008

I had a long discussion with one of my friends the other day about gender being natural or not. I am not totally sure where I stand on that. On one hand there is no doubt that most men and woman are differently physically, but how much of a difference does the extra bit of meat really make in our minds. I mean plenty of men behave in a way that are considered very feminine and plenty of women are behaving very masculine – and some of them are left very confused about who they are as an individual because of that mixed behaviour. Are we really better of with fairly fixed categories? The problem is that it makes also make it a lot easier for a lot of people to find their place in the world then the roles are fixed.

More then 1 out of 1000 kids are born without a clear sex – can you really talk about natural then more then 1 out of 1000 do not fit into either category physically? I wonder how much out the differences in out behaviours as men and women are cultural. Less then 100 years ago it was said that women did not have the temper to be good students and sit still long enough to take a higher education – today, in Denmark, more women, then men, make it into the universities and all the way though them. It is not 14 days ago I read an article written by a male gymnasium teacher who said that the way we had organised our gymnasiums made it really hard for the boys to make it though. Now it is the boys who have a hard time being good students and sitting still. Have boys changed in the last 100 years – physiological? I think not – have our culture – most certainty. Is gender always a meaningful category to work with? Perhaps age or social background makes more sense or perhaps, number of friends or nights spend out is better categories? Or how about hours spend on exercise? Why do we by default always use gender as a category – even then it is not the most meaningful one to use?

I often find my self more interested in traditional male interests more then in the more girly stuff. On the other hand I love interior design shows and new clothing as much as any teenage girl. Right now I am really looking forward to my haircut in two weeks, but I am also trilled over the pen and paper role-playing section we had last weekend. I find that I have a very un-girly interest in computer-related stuff (why is that a gender thing by the way?) and action movies – but I also find a marvels joy in watching Ugly Betty. Some of the things we associate with gender in my opinion have really very little to do with what is between our legs and more to do with the way we build culture.