Saturday, June 20, 2009

Perfect for fathers day.......

Self aware disclaimer.... what I am about to propose is something that would uphold and solidify damaging gender norms, and you know, capitalism and that. As such it should be read for entertainment purposes only.....

There are a lot of things that I would do if I didn't have a soul, one of which is advertising and marketing. I think I would be good at it; it's also probably a really fun job for those bereft of a social conscience. 

I came up with an idea the other day which I think could make me millions. Inspired by the patronising pinkification of items which though fairly neutral in and of themselves, have become more associated with men.  Girlie gardening, pink computers, pink tools - all over the place women are encouraged to buy 'boys toys' by companies making pink versions*. 

All this is obviously making someone somewhere some money. 

So what-about Macho Housework? Plenty of companies are already using this approach, like Coke Zero - which claims to be a healthier diet drink, but is largely a product intended to tap the body conscious dick market. 

So why not market traditionally 'women's work' to men by making it macho?
I have lots of ideas for products which would cover a broad range of household tasks....

* The Footie Machine - it's a green front-loading washing machine with a football for a door!
* For use in your Footie Machine... blokey detergent! It comes in a suave black box, with silver writing and geometric shapes. Comes in a variety of flavours - beer, bacon, and Lynx (possible joint product?)
* Action Hero Washing line - it's a retractable washing line with your favourite action hero on one end! Watch him zip line from one side of the garden to the other.  Available in numerous varieties including Sly Stallone, Indiana Jones and The Terminator. Comes with pegs featuring your favourite movie characters! Available in Sci Fi or Action Movie. Pegs also come free with special packs of Blokey Detergent - can you collect the whole set?
*The radio-active Mancrowave - it's a microwave with snazzy radiation warning stickers!
* Part of the same range as the Mancrowave, is the Radio-active mop. This mop has power. This is the sort of mop that Jack Baur would use to mop up nuclear waste; or as a creative implement of torture. Available in black and green with snazzy radiation warning stickers!
*What could be more manly than knives? How about knives SHAPED LIKE GUNS! Also available as swords. 
* Are you Hoovering, or are you controlling your own monster truck van, or space-ship? That's right, a hoover shaped like monster truck, van or space-ship. 

In truth my intention was to come up with stupid products, but actually some of these sound quite fun, more fun than pink garden shears anyhow.....

* or chose more expensive pink versions of products they would have bought anyway which is probably more likely the case. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hope not Hate

So sad news this morning about the BNP. Hearing that racist fuckwits have been elected in a place where I am from adds despair to an otherwise pleasant monday morning.  

Don't have much to say about it, just thought I would draw attention to a 'they don't represent me' petition. 


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Teach first?

I've been thinking about applying to teach first but looking at the website for it makes me feel a little bit ill. 

All these lame ass cartoons of smiling graduates going into rough, sorry I mean 'challenging' schools, looking serious, thoughtful, ready for action, ready for their temporary teaching mission. 

Now I'm not suggesting that aren't any good intentions behind this scheme (though I am suspicious about the fact that it is business funded). The problems do seem to outweigh the positives.

Having read the FAQs on their site, I have a few of my own....
Like, doesn't it de-value teaching as a profession by suggesting that it is something you could do for 2 years before you get on with your real job? 
Why do you want to attract people who hadn't considered teaching? 
Aren't the best teachers the ones who think that education is the most important thing in the world, and want to do it for reasons other than a career stepping stone?
What do you mean by 'exceptional' graduates, and what experience prior to Teach First do these graduates have of 'challenging' schools?
Why are you giving the most needy schools poorly qualified teaching staff?
Why do you think these schools are challenging? 
Do you think young middle class enthusiasm is the best solution to all social ills?
Are there any ethical qualms about challenging schools (or disadvantaged youth ) being used as a leadership stepping stone by those who are (relatively) privileged?

I'm not saying no good ever comes out of this program, frankly I don't know. The premise of Teach first  seems worryingly ill conceived. 
I did Project Trust, which was sold as a year to be proud of,  and though I am proud of some things, my abiding feeling is one of massive conscience ache. When I read over these profiles of how teaching poor kids helped Henry Whatshisface-smythe come up with examples of his leadership skills to get a job at JP morgan, I can't help but feel that it's all just a bit gross.