Were You Duped by the Gillette Ad?

Were you, like myself and thousands of others, duped by the Gillette ad?

How do you know if you were duped?

You took sides.

And if you took sides, and defended the ad, I’m guessing you are liberal leaning. And if you hated the ad, you’re probably conservative leaning.

Here is the problem with that: Does a liberal’s definition of a good man and a conservative’s definition of a good man differ a whole lot? I’m guessing not. If you asked a conservative to write a list of ten things describing what a good man is, and asked a liberal to do likewise, I’m pretty sure those lists would be nearly exact.

Then why did the Gillette ad cause so much division?

Because it was designed to.

If Gillette truly cared about encouraging men to act as good men, could they not have created an ad which would offend no one and create no division? Of course they could. It’s not hard. Simply portray a variety of men acting in a variety of good ways in a variety of situations: A man holding a door open for a woman; a man defending someone against bullying; a man working with inner city kids; etc…. Create an ad like that, but do not infuse into it any accusatory or preachy tone. That ad would encourage men to act well and it would offend no one.

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Gillette does not care about men behaving well. Like an arms dealer making millions selling weapons to both sides of a war, Gillette is playing the culture war hoping to increase its profits. If, in ten years, Gillette believes it can increase profits by appealing to conservative men, you can be sure it will create the appropriate ads to do that. With this latest ad, Gillette seems to be targeting progressive liberals.

So lets all agree that there are both good men and bad men out there, on both the left and the right, and that most men are trying to be good men. And also, lets all agree that a multi-billion dollar corporation, like Gillette, is not the best place to look to for our moral standards.

Related reading

PS… Why are men buying Gillette razors anyway? They’re a rip off! Go and get yourself a Merkur safety razor, along with a box of a hundred blades, and you’re set for decades.

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Stop Talking About It

“We know Canada isn’t immune to racist violence & hate. We condemn it in all its forms & send support to the victims in Charlottesville.”
~Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Excerpt from a recent CTV Canada news article….

Last weekend’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., has thrust America’s racism, violence and toxic political climate into the global spotlight.

But experts warn that right-wing extremist views are also on the rise in Canada, and should not be ignored.

“The far right is becoming very bold in Canada as well and we’ve seen that in the run-up to the last (federal) election and right after that as well,” Barbara Perry, a global crime expert at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.

In Cambodia, in the 1970s, Khmer Rouge soldiers were a bunch of young men who were angry at the upper class. The thing is, they didn’t know they were angry at the upper class until Pol Pot came and convinced them of it. There are a lot of angry people in Canada. They don’t necessarily know why they’re angry, but they have no way to express it and so are looking for a cause/group they can attach their anger to. It doesn’t matter if the cause does not line up with the reason they’re angry (if they even know it). The cause becomes an outlet for the anger and it gives the person a sense of purpose in life. So, if we want to see an uprise in racism in Canada, then by all means, talk about it incessantly. Convince people that they need to be outraged and afraid of it. Good leaders will find angry people and attach them to good causes. Foolish leaders will attach them to evil causes. Canada has foolish leaders.

Related reading…. Fuelling White Nationalism

Propaganda (Brief Book Review)

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“Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group”
~Edward Bernays

I recently finished reading Propaganda by Edward Bernays. It’s a short book written in the late 1920s describing the methods used by anyone who wishes to push their ideas and agenda onto a large group of people. The methods described in the book are still in use today.

Propaganda is a neutral term; it is neither good nor evil in and of itself. It can be used for good and used for evil, but mostly it is a vessel used to push an idea.

If I were a newsman who recently read a report done by some major university on the annual financial earnings of men and women and wanted to do a story on it, I could choose a couple of different ways to present the report. If I have no agenda but to present the report to the public for their own scrutiny, my headline would look something like: New Report on the Financial Income of Men and Women Released by U of T. However, if I’m a feminist, and do have a strong agenda, and I see in the report that men, due to more frequently working full time, putting in more overtime, and taking jobs in higher paying fields, are earning more money on an annual basis than women, I can use that information to push my agenda, and my headline would look more like this: Women Only Make Seventy Cents for Every Dollar a Man Makes New Study Shows. And that headline would be propaganda. It’s not an outright lie; it’s just that I am presenting the information to the reader so as to sway his or her opinion toward my agenda (which, for the feminist, is to convince the public that women are oppressed by men).

propSo, even though propaganda is neutral (and should not be mistaken with opinion writing), I would argue that it will most often lean towards dishonesty as the presenter of the propaganda is most likely not being sincere in his or her propagation of the information, even when the cause behind the propaganda is a good one.

I gave the book 3/5 stars.

BS’rs vs Liars

Smells-Like-Bullshit_fb_99704

A liar is someone who knows that what he’s saying is not true, and he wants to deceive you for his own personal gain and/or to protect himself. He doesn’t necessarily want his lie to be true. He just wants you to believe it so that he can get on with his plans.

A bullshitter, however, while not speaking the perfect truth, wants what he’s saying to be true, and he wants you to want it to be true as well. He will over exaggerate his statistics to make things appear to be better, or more worthy of praise, than they really are. He knows it’s bullshit, he feels it inside, but he convinces himself it’s true just long enough to blurt it out. He hopes that you won’t look too deeply into what he’s saying, and he knows most people won’t.

The Folly of Categorizing People

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Marxist ideology catagorizes you — by your wealth, your politics, your status, your skin color, your gender, etc… And once you’ve been properly categorized, you will no longer be judged as an individual, making individual decisions and performing individual actions, you will only be judged by the category you “belong” to.

This only works to create division in a society as it destroys the ability to discuss and debate ideas. It over simplifies life by placing everyone into overly general categories. Not all black people think the same, believe it or not, therefore some blacks will oppose something like “Black Lives Matter,” or they might even be conservative.

Social Media very much fuels the fire of Marxist ideology as it causes people to judge others simply by what they post on social media. It’s like road rage. Someone you can’t see in their car cuts you off and you are ready to slit their throat. Meanwhile, the same person bumps into you while walking on the street and is able to make eye contact and apologize. Your anger is immediately diffused as you see a real living individual human in front of you and not some abstract evil who could only be your enemy.

I know people from where I used to live who were friendly acquaintances, but who now only have contact with me through social media. Never in my time spent with them in the past did political opinions create strife between us, even though our political leanings were in opposite directions. But now, whenever I post something politically conservative on Facebook, these same people become offended and angry. Now, I am not opposed to these people criticizing what they believe to be bad ideas, but that’s not what’s happening. They see the post as being the one and only thing which defines my entire life: “He’s a Christian conservative!”

I’ve made it my new years resolution to never treat people like that; to never judge a person solely on what they put on social media. I will still criticize bad ideas, but I will not categorize people into little boxes just because they express one idea in a way I don’t agree with. The same guy who praises Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump, on Facebook is also a father, a husband, a hard worker, a generous giver, and a friend. He is not some faceless enemy stuck in an impenetrable category forever separated from myself.

At the same time, I realize that posting political stuff on Facebook may not be the best idea. Most people go on Facebook for fun and are not interested in being hit with politics or religion. I would never go to a birthday party and start spewing off political opinions. Facebook may not be the best medium for such things. Twitter seems to be a better medium for it as no one knows who you are there. A quote I read recently: Facebook is where you lie to your friends, and Twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers.

No matter what the medium, the Marxist strategy of fitting jamming people into over simplified categories will only ever lead to tribal warfare.

Related reading: A Lesson We All Can Learn from the Chicago Torture Case