on one of my many late night internet surfing...i discovered the clothing company shai's new gimmick........sex sells...but this time it's taken a lot more literally. shai offers its customers three interactive catalog creatively entitled "men+men," "women+women," and "women+men"...each video is a short skin flick while a weepy woman sings "there's no reason to be shy/shai"...you can then stop the flick by pausing on strategically placed green dots to find out shopping info for the clothing worn (or taken off) in the film. i would embed the clips, but y'all...my mommy reads my blog. so click here: shai catalog i'm interested in this cliched bit of marketing for a couple reasons: the beginning of each short film features the model/actors staring vacuously like mannekins (sp?) who then come to life and begin ripping off each others clothes...a little creepy...sorta cyborgish, but very vanilla cyborg if that makes sense. the most interesting couple is (surpisingly enough) for me the "woman+man" since they seem to not only remix the song the other couples fuck to...but the other couples literal sex acts...it's almost a paralleling of the gay (i'm trying to avoid queer...'cause it ain't) sex scenes (the blowjob, the digital penetration, the rear entry, the handjob to orgasm) is all featured in the other scenes (which admittedly i watched first...) lastly, i'm interested in the choice of titles...not lesbians, gay boys and straight couple...but the use of the actual gender categories is an interesting avoidance of sexual categories or identities, while still able to visualize the act(s) that these bodies engage in. check it out...lemme know what you think.
so i know a few people have blogged on these images already (see the link to frank's blog) and sony has been facing a lot of criticism for it, but i still couldn't stay silent on this one...now i'm not sure if these are successive images and/or if there's some sort of narrative coherence to them at all. but let's deal with the "first" image anyway. so i'm assuming we're supposed to fear the oncoming of this monstrous/devilish whiteness, but we are definitely supposed to anticipate her "coming" (thanks to vin for pointing out that pun)...at least in this image, technowhiteness is transporting or making portable a black face, a face that in the first image at least is an androgynous one...let's move backward from this emerging technowhiteness and consider it within a context of the economies of the plantation...white mistress, black laborer...plus the obvious s/m dynamic here, which then must be situated alongside the possibility of bdsm racial play.................then there's the second image (or perhaps the first...i'm not sure how these images appear in their original context)...so portable whiteness is topped by black, what...stability?? do we assume that the blackness is portable as well? not sure. portable whiteness is still transporting a black face in the same way as the first image (the gazes remain the same as well)...but this face is rendered not as androgynous due to the clothing. so portable whiteness here is "overcome" (to again put orgasm in play) and overcome or outcome by this black female body...so let's throw in ideas of hypersexualized black womanhood...one that outplays even technowhite femaleness...........interestingly enough these ads were initially defended by sony who stated that they intended to depict nothing but "colors in contrast," but after the global outcry the ads were pulled earlier this month. sony claims that they received only one complaint about the ads from someone actually inside the netherlands (where the ad campaign was originally intended) which leads me to believe that sony did not foresee these images crossing national borders. obviously this raises some really interesting issues about the borders of the nation in an era of transnational capital and new media....it also raises stuff about cultural translation, readership and authorial (or advert) intentionality....so whadya think??
here's a transcript of oprah detailing how she became friends with gayle on xm radio....i couldn't even make this stuff up!! "When I was 22 years old and working as a TV anchor in Baltimore, there was a young production assistant in the newsroom, Gayle King. One night there was a snowstorm and she couldn't get home. I said 'Hey, you can spend the night at my house.' She said, 'I don't have any panties.' I said, "Well, I do. I have clean panties, and once I give 'em to you, you don't have to give 'em back.'" i'd make some crass jokes here...but it'd be way too easy.
big gay oprah
ok, so oprah denies she and her lover gayle are gay...but i absolutely love how freakin' queer she sounds in O magazine... and I quote: "I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it: 'How can you be this close without it being sexual?'" And here's what Gayle had to say - "The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay." (thanks gayle...i wasn't sure 'til now) But Oprah does admit that her friendship with Gayle is unique, saying that they often talk on the phone four times a day when they're not in the same city. She added: "Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me, like it was designed by a power and a hand greater than my own. (here comes my favorite part) Whatever this friendship is, it's been a very fun ride." ha!!! i'm sure it has you dirty girl, i'm sure it has. now give me my new car...i'd like a free ride too.
barbara wawa's black hair wahwah
you should just watch it yourself. http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2754929
geico and affect
has anyone seen the new geico commercials? i'm not so sure why i'm surprised at all...why wouldn't the literal body of little richard (and all the queer and black connotations that body produces) function as the affective translator for this particular (vanilla and monotone) whiteness? and seeing as though i work on television studies, what does the televisual have to do with this? i'm also interested in the juxtaposition of these two bodies...they have to both function on simultaneous aural and visual registers, but in a strange twinning that makes each dependent on the other. presumably, viewers need little richard to make the noncelebrity body translate in a televisual mode, and we need that noncelebrity body to ground little richard's affective excesses...to make him palatable to that same audience.