I saw this ad on the back of a broadsheet newspaper several years ago, a Sunday paper I think. It was huge- the entire back page in fact. I couldn’t do much but stare at it for a few minutes, mouth agape. It’s Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones, in an ad for Louis Vuitton. ‘Some journeys cannot be put into words’ the tagline reads. You’d laugh to hear that said out loud, but in the context of the ad it’s convincing on some level. They’re flashing such intimidating credentials you’re in no position to argue. The ad is transparently an effort to lord it up over the viewer, and not much besides. Pretty joyless affair. Ok ok, Louis Vuitton, you win, I surrender. Pricks.
There’s a clothes shop I quite like called Pull and Bear- it’s like H and M, but originating in Spain, and the clothes are slightly better and £10 more expensive. Their masthead reads ‘Pull and Bear 1991’. I was a bit surprised at that. They’re going all ‘Gap 1969’ on our asses, romanticising the year. That’s jarring for me because for ages I was fully convinced the early 90s were nothing more than a joke. The entire time I was growing up that was the received wisdom, and I didn’t question it. MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, ho ho ho. But now I turn around and it’s ‘Pull and Bear: Birthed in the cultural firestorm of 1991’, kind of thing. Probably there’ll be an ad with a languid whispery voiceover (or maybe a more assertive tone is the thing now, I’m not sure): ‘Pull and Bear: Nighting nighty one’. They’re completing an about-turn that started a few years ago. It appears I’ve been a pawn in some vacuous cycle. All just a bit of fun you could argue, but I’m pissed to realise that I’ve been holding fast to an idea, about the early 90s, that I had no input on. It was handed down to me by the fickle overlords of taste and I complied. I still hold it, this post was originally going to be me joking about ‘Pull and Bear 1991’ being silly, but I realised the joke’s on me. Someone more enlightened than me is going to come along and explain that 90% of my opinions are like that, that this is just a glaring example of it. You live and learn anyway. Blogging saves the day again.
I was out getting milk just there and while walking up the street on my return home I passed an old man coming the other way, who I barely noticed. It came to my attention that I had barely noticed him. If it had been a guy my age my posture would have stiffened approaching him, my heart would have started beating a little faster etc. Yet this old guy is practically invisible to me. I suppose that’s a bit sad. Where then is the fucking ad-campaign fronted by some old geezer, bemoaning how unfair it is that old men are invisible? Because where older women are concerned there’s plenty of that. Helen Mirren goes on about it in a recent ad for some make-up company. And even before I saw that ad I was pretty sensitive to the notion of older women being invisible and how tragic it is. But you know what, fucking deal with it. As with old men, if they had any character you’d still notice them. You can’t expect to be first and foremost an object of desire as a 65 year old. Why have I been running around feeling guilty about that while at the same time not giving a second thought to the plight of little old men? From this and other areas of my life, I’m thinking women have a bit of a racket going on. I’m not an oppressor of women, I’m just as oppressed as them. I need to start saying ‘fuck off’ to a lot of feminism, just as I instinctively do to authority in other areas.
I couldn’t be less keen to see a film than this. The way Michael B Jordan is sucking that spoon, like a toddler, is revolting. Imogen Poots looks like a real cunt, like she’d have zero compassion for anyone. The phrase ‘eating your feelings’ is inane. I keep expecting an epiphany moment with it- that it’s a slow burner and at some point I’ll get it. But no. I wonder who first uttered it? Imogen Poots probably. They’re both doing a pantomime of a simple emotion. It’s like flash cards for language learning. It’s literally retarded. Godawful marketing just perhaps. I should watch the film.
UPDATE: It dawned on me that it being like language learning flashcards is the intention. Is that obvious to people? I didn’t see it. I just saw the smug assertion that the images have nailed a couple of universal modern-day moments. Even if the moments in question were interesting and the actors were likable, you’d still say fuck off. That’s true whether they’re using ironic language card styling or not, It’s barely ironic anyway. So I can rest easy again.
Exceedingly nasty tagline, ominous voice-over and everything. It’s easy to buy into at a glance: good body = good lifestyle = good person. In reality though there’s no shortage of idiots with strong, fit bodies. Pretty lovely ad in the service of this evil.