Tag Archives: Robbie Soave

Comment Of The Day: “The Gillette Ad”

As Ethics Alarms struggles to regain even the wan level of traffic it had before the holidays hit with their deplorable priorities of family and reflection over ethics commentary, let us hail today’s Comment of the Day creator, Tim LeVier, as well as Glenn Logan and, for he still surfaces now and then, King Kool, all of whom have remained steadfast not only from the beginning of Ethics Alarms in 2010, but on The Ethics Scoreboard, its less active predecessor, before that.

Here is Tim’s Comment of the Day on the post, The Gillette Ad:

We live in interesting times. I see both sides of it. Part of my wants to say that this is no different than when a man tells a woman to smile. This is women saying “calm down” or “be more sensitive and peaceable”.

I don’t believe for a second that this message wasn’t crafted by people I don’t want the message to come from…but that’s just negative confirmation bias, right?

In fairness, it’s not a bad message, if taken as honest, straight forward, with no ulterior motives….but there’s the rub. We’re convinced there’s bad intent here. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex

The Gillette Ad

“Everyone” is talking about the new Gillette ad above. It is cynical, manipulative in sinister ways, unfair, insincere, divisive, unfair, and wrong. Over at Reason, the usually rational Robby Soave was sucked in (as was Ann Althouse, who said the little boys at the end moved her to tears—Awwwww!) defending the ad:

But the ad never said that all men are bad. It never argued that masculinity is always and everywhere a dangerous ideal. It made a very modest statement—treat people better—in hopes of selling more razors to people who agree. Again, why is this bad?…Young guys need to learn from men who treat women well and act as protectors rather than victimizers, which…is exactly what the Gillette ad called on men to do. People are free to associate with whatever brand they want, so if Gillette’s so-called virtue signaling bothers someone that much, that person may go ahead and buy razors elsewhere. But it would be a shame if the right started boycotting companies for taking the position that maybe hurting people is bad. Is owning the libs really that important?

Sucker! I am heartened that the ad has generated overwhelmingly negative responses, and while I would never call for a boycott (I use electric razors, thanks), I would still love to see Gillette suffer for this naked virtue-signaling and insulting stereotype mongering, all while pretending to “care,” when in fact it is just a cynical tactic to create buzz. I hope the eventual buzz is the sound of Remington electric razors.

Jon Gabriel’s reaction was similar to mine:

Gillette has had a rough few years. The former shaving hegemon has seen its market share plummet due to a resurgence in classic “wet shaving,” online razor subscription services, and the popularity of beards. Gillette’s obvious options are to lower their artificially high price or drastically improve their quality. Instead, they’ve decided to make their remaining customers feel bad about themselves through an expensive new ad campaign…. “You’re a very bad person, give us money” is an odd marketing pitch, especially from a company that’s used sex to sell its product for decades…Gillette has now declared war on its customer base. [Quoting the Wall Street Journal]

Gillette parent Procter & Gamble Co. is among companies that in recent years have used advertising as a platform to promote their stance on social issues such as gender equality, and polarizing political topics such as immigration and gun control. P&G is perhaps best known for its lauded “Like a Girl” ad campaign for feminine-care brand Always and “Stress test” for deodorant brand Secret.

Promoting social issues can be effective marketing, but notice the difference. P&G’s female-directed ads make women feel better about themselves. The company tells women “you’re great just as you are” and tells men “you’re bad and need to change.”

“Why is this bad?” asks sensitive Robby. Ah, let me count the ways: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising

Three Ethically Perceptive Takes On The Election

Amidst all the hysterical “the fascists, racists, homophobes, xenophobes and misogynists have taken over! Run! Hide!” commentary—which, incidentally, is inciting violence far more directly than anything Donald Trump has ever said—a couple of non-right wing commentators have tried to bring some perspective and rationality to the question of what happened Tuesday. Naturally, they focus on ethics.

First, however, in contrast, I give you the vile pronouncements of Slate’s professional race-baiter and anti-white demagogue, Jamelle Bouie. His piece for Slate—I will not trust the site as long as they give a bigot like Bouie a forum—was called “White Won.”  Here’s a typical passage:

“After eight years of a black president—after eight years in which cosmopolitan America asserted its power and its influence, eight years in which women leaned in and blacks declared that their lives mattered—millions of white Americans said enough. They had their fill of this world and wanted the old one back. And although it’s tempting to treat this as a function of some colorblind anti-elitism, that cannot explain the unity of white voters in this election. Trump didn’t just win working-class whites—he won the college-educated and the affluent. He even won young whites. Seventeen months after he announced his candidacy, millions of white Americans flocked to the ballot box to put Trump into the White House. And they did so as a white herrenvolk, racialized and radicalized by Trump.”

Three observations: 1) This is the mentality that Barack Obama and the Democrats have encouraged and nourished, in order to derive maximum political benefit from dividing the nation, 2) what epic gall to call Trump’s 58% of the white vote proof of racism, when Obama’s 93% black vote in 2012, after a disastrous first term (though the second term made it look good by comparison), was happily regarded as “loyalty,” 3) The fact that Trump’s opponent was corrupt and insulted half of all voters had nothing to do with how anyone voted.

Oh: Bouie’s screed was sub-headed, “We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.”

I didn’t vote for Trump, but on behalf of my country, I am offended and insulted.

That’s enough of that toxic jerk. Here are three open-minded commentators who are trying to blunt the left’s calculated strategy of turning half the nation against the other.

1. Robby Soave: Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash

I’ll begin by saying that Trump’s win is attributable to anger over political correctness goes too far, but the Left’s increasing hostility to free speech, and non-conforming opinion was definitely a prime source of legitimate suspicion and distrust toward Democrats. It was certainly among the factors that finally convinced me not to vote for Hillary.  Soave also is patting himself on the back for playing Cassandra. There is a lot of this “I told you so” going around, as usually happens when the conventional wisdom is spectacularly wrong. It’s all moral luck, of course. The pundits and experts seeking recognition as geniuses are trying to capitalize on being at least as lucky as wise. Still, Soave was right, and many others saw what he did. The Reason journalist writes in part…

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing….I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.

…The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly….It called them racists….

There is a cost to depriving people of the freedom (in both the legal and social senses) to speak their mind. The presidency just went to the guy whose main qualification, according to his supporters, is that he isn’t afraid to speak his.

2.  Will Rahn:  Commentary: The unbearable smugness of the press

This is Ethics Hero territory: a CBS reporter pointing an accusing finger at his employer and the rest of the profession. Journalists finally pushed their arrogance, incompetent and bias to the breaking point, and serious wounded—I hope killed—the public’s trust. They slimed Sarah Palin and got away with it; they distorted Mitt Romney to re-elect Obama. But handed a candidate so awful that all they had to do was tell the truth, the news media still decided that it needed to make sure its candidate won. Americans like fairness. When Trump said the the election was “rigged” because the news media was supporting Hillary, it was so obvious that he was right.

Rahn:

Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic. So much for that. …Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice…This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence! 

3. Mike Rowe, on Facebook

The “Dirty Jobs” reality TV star is perceptive, objective and articulate, and when asked his reactions to the election—he was not a Trump supporter—replied in part:

I know people are freaked out…I get it. I’m worried too. But not because of who we elected. We’ve survived 44 Presidents, and we’ll survive this one too. I’m worried because millions of people now seem to believe that Trump supporters are racist, xenophobic, and uneducated misogynists. I’m worried because despising our candidates publicly is very different than despising the people who vote for them…

I don’t think Donald Trump won by tapping into America’s “racist underbelly,” and I don’t think Hillary lost because she’s a woman. I think a majority of people who voted in this election did so in spite of their many misgivings about the character of both candidates. That’s why it’s very dangerous to argue that Clinton supporters condone lying under oath and obstructing justice. Just as it’s equally dangerous to suggest a Trump supporter condones gross generalizations about foreigners and women.

These two candidates were the choices we gave ourselves, and each came with a heaping helping of vulgarity and impropriety. Yeah, it was dirty job for sure, but the winner was NOT decided by a racist and craven nation – it was decided by millions of disgusted Americans desperate for real change. The people did not want a politician. The people wanted to be seen. Donald Trump convinced those people that he could see them. Hillary Clinton did not.

Finally, a bonus analysis to provide perspective: mine.

Last night, as often happens, a comment from a reader (and old friend) prompted a “Eureka!” moment. I realized how very American this election was, and gained some respect and a great deal of understanding for what happened. The commenter wrote about how terrified people were, and how a friend had told her that she was seriously considering suicide. She also said she was beginning to lose her confidence that “it can’t happen here.” I was watching video of protests and riots as I read this. I wrote (I edited this slightly):

And this is what the scaremongering does to the ignorant and weakminded, to be brutally blunt, and why the scaremongers need to cut it out.

Anyone who seriously sees parallels between Trump and Hitler understands neither, nor the corresponding historical context, nor the two nations and their very different cultures. Hitler rose because the Germans, who always had wanted a strongman, were desperate, and their self-esteem had been destroyed. Americans got tired of being pushed around, lectured, and being told that traditional cultural values made them racists and xenophobes. They decided to say “Screw that!” by electing a protest candidate whose sole function was to be a human thumb in the eye, because he was so disgusting to the people who had pretended to be their betters. Don’t you understand? It’s idiotic, but the message isn’t. It’s “Animal House”! and “Animal House” is as American as Doolittle’s Raid:

Otter: Bluto’s right. Psychotic… but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.

In Germany, The Big Cheese says jump and the Germans say “How high?” In the US, the response is “Fuck you!” Obama never understood that. He and the Democrats are finally getting the “fuck you!” they have been asking for. I love that about America. And much as I hate the idea of an idiot being President, I do love the message and who it was sent to. America still has spunk.

I love spunk.

 

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