Advertising beat: McDonald’s is for Old Spice-lovers, please  »

[can’t see the video? watch it on!]

Since our sneakers correspondent is also our crack advertising reporter, and that Megan Rascal is still gallivanting about Europe, we’re on the advertising beat today! This 30-second spot hasn’t aired on U.S. television yet, but presumably it will, considering how hard commercial media want us to admire/be/get wet for dudes who do Manly Things. The manliest thing a man has ever done, of course, is stuffed some meat down his gullet. Also, the voiceover guy has an “American” accent, and you know ‘murrican Manly Men don’t respond to “foreign” voices—unless they’re selling “foreign” products, like Dos Equis beer, or Grey Poupon mustard.

Obviously McDonald’s can’t pretend their products are anything but chemically enhanced food-like substances, so now they’re making an appeal to the same people Manly Men who are all about smelling like Old Spice and bringing back chivalry. Cool idea, so original! You all are the smartest ever. Maybe it’s all the sodium that reminds you, a Manly Man, of your innate responsibility to open doors for Ladies. Maybe it’s the weird dairy products in the processed cheese-food that give you super-strong hands!* Or maybe all that gnarly cholesterol is actually brain food, and BAM you can fix cars you’ve never even seen before! Honestly, we have no idea; as vegans, we’ll never eat that much cholesterol, and most of your Vegansaurus was born XX, so we’re doubly stupid about the wondrous effects of McDonald’s on Manly (Omnivorous) Men.

Has anyone is Australia seen this commercial yet? Does it make you want to puke as much as we wanted to when we watched it? This play-pretend admiration of the super-fixed gender roles of the last century is unbelievably fucking stupid—it’s not even a binary!—and emphasizing its importance is pathetic. We are moving on from “Manly,” and we’re moving on from McDonald’s. If you want to make it in this century, you’d better evolve, you creeps.

*Note to fellow homo sapiens without much hand strength: wrap a rubber band around the lid of the jar. That provides much more traction than those ridiculous rubber opener-things and you can leave it on the jar for future use. It is brilliant and amazing and another small way of maintaining your independence.


BEEF!: nicht für Frauen—unless your Mann gives it to you  »

We’ve discussed this idiocy before, how eating meat should make you a real big man, with manly muscles and a manly penis and all those other attributes that make the ladies and lady-dudes just swoon. Worse, as painful as it is to consider our grandparents having to suffer that bullshit in the ’50s, it looks like we’re being subjected to it again. To wit: not only is everybody eating meat, raw meat, but according to some Hamburghers,* beef in particular is a Man’s Food and should be revered as such, in its own magazine with fancy title-punctuation: BEEF! for Men with Taste. Oh Germany, how clever you are. The Double X blog has a tidy little dissection, as it were,** but which doesn’t go far enough—roll your eyes at the disgusting-in-all-senses-of-the-word articles, shake your fist with rage at the “men are chefs, women are cooks” stereotypes, because even when dudes take on kitchen responsibilities it is all fun and games and aren’t they creative with their amaaaazing dinners and photos and knife collections! Ladies, leftovers casserole again? Boring, gross, make me a sandwich and/or pie, bitch! GOD, variations on this joke will never get old.

All of which is, yes, obnoxious in the extreme. Even when everyone’s wearing an apron, someone’s taking His more seriously than Hers—especially when His is covered with aromatic, erotic, freshly butchered lamb’s blood,*** and Hers is caked with rapidly cementing flour-and-dishwater paste. The Editor in Chief of BEEF! says so himself (sample quote: “Women cook because they have to. For the kids who come home hungry at lunch, or in the evening for their partner. Men cook because they want to. Because it’s their hobby, their passion.”) It’s hard in there for a grrrrl.

It’s also hard out there for a dude who doesn’t want to eat meat. He’s not a man’s man, you see; how can he be, if he’s not willing to hunt and kill a meal for you, or at least craft supper out of the murdered remains of a less powerful animal? First you eat your meat to grow up big and strong, and once you are big and strong, you eat meat to prove you’re still at the “top” of the “food chain” (do we think about any other “chains” in terms of “tops” and “bottoms,” by the way?). That’s logic—manly logic! BEEF! logic!! The kind that comes to you after your brain has melted from BSE. Possibly the same that assumes anyone believes any of this anymore. Our favorite ways to insult a vegetable-eater’s looks—“anemic,” “anorexic,” “pale”—are all synonymous with weakness, frailty, the physical opposite of the macho man with his heroic penis and big creative brain. I mean, what do we eat, salads? Not even real food! Certainly not food worth using “Knives to Die For” on!

BUT: What’s the point? BEEF! isn’t really a magazine, in the sense that issues are published with any regularity (the first is dated October 2009; the second is due in May 2010) or that it’s supposed to do anything besides idolize a lifestyle that only ever existed between the pages of Playboy. Maybe with the rise of power German ladies, unemployed German dudes needed to carve out some space for themselves—the world being divided into G.R.O.S.S. members and everyone else—or maybe I shouldn’t have written this response at all, because manufacturing trends is stupid, this magazine’s premise is silly, and meat is fucking disgusting. Given the choice, I’d much rather kiss a man who doesn’t eat meat—ethics are hot, they imply you have a brain.

[For further reading on meat and gender roles, do please visit the Sociological Images blog.]

**ON FIRE with the wit today. I’m so sorry.
***BARF OK kill me now.

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