media chicken, media egg
November 23, 2002 11:47 AM

I saw a slightly retro commercial this morning. It frustrated me. Here's why: it's a re-use of a jingle from when I was a kid. Something to the effect of "Momma" having the magic of detergent - Clorox, I'm pretty sure.

There are, I'm sure you know, a large volume of American commercials that assume all things household and child are handled by women. There are also a large number (quite likely the majority) of American households in which that is true.

But I remember being promised, back when that jingle was first sung, that I could have anything and structure my life however I wished. I'm fairly certain that at least some of the households where the Clorox jingle rings true today are headed by women and men who heard those same promises.

It's not a new question, but it bears somewhat constant evaluation: how much do media shape our perspective, and how much do we dictate what media show? [That sentence sounds awkward, doesn't it? I'm trying to avoid the boring collective "The Media" and its disturbing singularity, but the plural seems almost archaic.]

It's not a new question, but it's still a troubling question. Does public opinion have to be completely reversed in order for media to reflect it? Seems that way. You can, of course, also argue that the Corporations who control The Media have an interest in maintaining the status quo - but it wouldn't be entirely true. Those Corporations (aka The Man), even when considered in such stock terminology, still have an interest in producing whatever it is that we desire. You know, so we'll buy it.

The Clorox thing (part two) bothers me on another level - is it implying that the eighties are an idyllic time for which we should pine? Or are the jingle-writers just on strike? In any case, I think I can speak for the rest of the class when I say: Put the eighties back in that can, already. Thank you.

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your wicked thoughts

I hate hate HATE hate hate that commercial. Thank you for whacking it so effectively.

these are the thoughts of Dorothea Salo on November 23, 2002 07:18 PM

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