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Deciphering Images- Advertising Cultural Debasement.

Chris Murray, Ireland | 13.05.2007 08:25 | Culture | Gender | Social Struggles

The primary focus of a small piece like this would be accompanied by the
two images which I considered putting up, but everyone who is regarding
the debasement of their culture in the face of globalisation would have
an image in their mind that fulfills the picture.

My focus is usually on gender and debasement.

In the privacy of our mind,and in those of our kids we are daily absorbing a mass
of living images and images that are dead- fantasies created by colour block,
pixel and structure. We all know that advertising constructions are the result
of focus groups and aggressive use of our human iconographies to set within
us a series of reactions. We can usually tell too from the way the global
press would focus on a story that its achievement is to create within us a fear
reaction, or an impression of strength- the simplest of these are of the elderly
men that dominate our political systems accompanied by young and pretty
women telling us that they possess a virility that is enviable- I am sure the
women of the family laugh a lot at these.

The living image is the important one, children are particularly absorbent
and they see everything, indeed they are lower to the ground so not much
gets past them. There is a woman who stands on the streets of Dublin
with a 'Big Issue' magazine. I do not think she has ever sold one, in fact
the magazine looks entirely incongruous in her hand. She is 'jugoslav'
and is not really bothered to learn our bastard tongue. She has a rare
smile. My daughter would slip a golden coin into her hand when ever
she sees her and get in return the most beatific smile and a pat on the
head. Lots of people do not see her , so distracted are they with the
trash in the shop windows. The latest of which is a formaldehyde
construction of a very white woman selling watches . Whilst the
devotees of 'A Night in Paris' set up a mass petition for her to be
allowed not to serve the 45 days in custody, her little chin , but
barely caresses the side of her arm and the baby blue of her eyes
is replete with knowingness- every tweenie wants that knowingness.

Though I expect they realise that its like old chip papers and will
tarnish and be yesterdays news in maybe a month.

Other images that would catch the eye:- The Pope has endorsed the
Mass tourist industry in Brazil by making a new Saint- Saint Galvao,
you can purchase his 'pills' at a convent and ingest those little bits of
paper, they are particularly beneficial to pregnant women. (!)

If it is mass- marketted, dominant and seemingly an unstoppable force,
the image is usually a tool in cultural debasement, language debasement,
profit increase and manipulation. The fevered buy with impunity-
Now where is the counter petition? I do think it highly amusing that
the terminator is the one who will involve himself in Ms Paris' judicial

Chris Murray, Ireland