Saturday, October 11, 2008

Show & Tell: Call to Action

My calls to action are from the Foundation for a Better Life.
I'm a huge fan of these billboards. They tend to hit home in the heart area.

The call to action is gentle. Pass it on. Be a better person. But I really like having this reminder amid the masses of McDonalds billboards and cheap motels along the highway. I don't think people are inherently good--well I do sort of--but I think people should still put the efforts into actually being good people as in, actually doing good things. And I feel like what the Foundation considers "good" is in line what I think is good.

However, recently, I found an article that said the FFABL was listed to some rich oil tycoon: article here. Thanks for crushing my hopes Portland Indymedia. I haven't fully read it yet, so I'm not sure how or if it will change how I view these billboards. Can bad people do good things? Is it deceptive that these ad campaign, perhaps comes from someone who does not represent them?

And interesting enough, I received this quote in my inbox today:

Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know, the rest is propaganda. -Horacio Verbitsky

which I thought was interesting/relevant, because Portland Indymedia calls the ads propaganda.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bad Ad

I wasn't sure what I was going to post for my second post this week, until I found this bad ad: 

I'm don't think it's my preference that I think this is bad. I understand that sex sells and some provocative ads sell well. But I think this doesn't work because the creators have misunderstood the audience. I found it in Rolling Stone magazine from a few months ago. I feel like Macy's was like, hmm, Rolling Stone, yeah, lets be edgy and racy and raw and we'll use the youthful, sex angle. But it still feels like a mall shopping store ad that happens to be using a naked person. They completely lost the fantasy world that usually emanates from a sexy ad--although, they try to incorporate it with that reflective mirror effect. which feels creepy and inauthentic. It's as if they thought, just throw in a naked woman, as if that makes something sexy or provocative or compelling. I just found it interesting because this is one of the first times where I've seen an ad and known why it was bad contextually rather than because I didn't care for the design. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I wrote a poem

Ever since I've switched gears to focus and learn graphic design, my writing has been nearly non-existent, which is unfortunate because I'm trained in and love writing (particularly poetry). Well, I was watching a film and had some inspiration and I wrote a poem. ::Pat on the back::

This poem directly references the movie, but I'm curious how it works for those who haven't seen or don't know what the movie is... Special bonus points to you if you can guess the movie. I have a series of poems that do this, reinterpret visual cues into written words. I'm very interested in the connection between the two mediums-film and language.

But it's obvious how excited I am to be writing again, because I'm being so upfront in sharing a draft, that I undoubtedly will think is junk in three months. But I'd appreciate any critiquing, what you get and what you don't get, what works and what doesn't. A fresh perspective is always helpful, thanks.

::Warning, may include disturbing images--it was a violent movie::

The Wolf
For Lou Ellen and Carla Jean

i. A cowboy kills with precision.
A sheriff kills with a conscious.
The lobo kills.

ii. Have you ever watched
a deputy struggle to death—
kicking up shoe scuffs as if it was a dance?
Have you ever watched a handcuffed man
take away the breath of a peace keeping man,
the chain on the handcuffs
ripping paper cuts
across the flesh of his neck?

Would you talk to death before you die?
Would you put out your life story?
You don’t even know what you’re saying,
the wolf mocks you. You stammer,
who are you, what is that; you
try to blot out his voice—
a voice that throws you to your knees
praying it’s not the last thing you hear on earth—; you
wonder why there is suddenly
a trembling fear in your voice.
Not knowing what hits you
is a courtesy he gives you.

iii. The cowboy escapes his tango
with the wolf, and oozing wounds
make him brave which means foolish
and he turns the tables desperately
and goes on the hunt with a fury in his eyes
and a fire in his heart, but our hero dies too.
The legends of cowboys are just stories.

He sits where the man
who he is hunting sat when watching TV,
The sheriff chasing him
sits where the hunter sat watching his reflection.
The milk jar is sweating, a beaded ring
on the table—are you
hoping to catch him, or glad
you just missed him?
Do you die, veins full
of piss and vinegar, or do you retire
and fill your nights with desert dreams
of your deceased father?

iv. Arriving home in mourning you
set down your keys and you
pause at the open window and you
sigh and you know. You
nudge the bedroom door ajar with your finger tips—
his presence permeates
like poison gas billowing—you already know
he sits in the wicker rocking chair, still,
in the corner, as if he’s been waiting all this time for you
to come to him.