wtf, microsoft ads: “Didn’t we have this last night?”

So the premiss of the second of the MIcrosoft Windows ads is that Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld go to live with some ‘average’ family. The dynamic between Gates and Sienfeld, while obviously contrived, is based on the generic conventions we expect from a man who cracks funnies about nothing and a super rich geek.

What the fuck is Microsoft thinking creating drama? comedy? from how alienated Seinfeld and Gates are from everyday life? The family comes across as conniving, ignorant and stupid and the hapless duo of Gates and Seinfeld come across as complete dickheads.

There is nothing funny about the ad. I am so happy that whoever came up with these crackpot ads will be making their chardonnay luke warm with tears.

EDIT 18/09/08: Good. They’ve been cancelled.

Ad embedded below fold.

Continue reading “wtf, microsoft ads: “Didn’t we have this last night?””

Emo: Counter-hegemonic suburban masculinities

One of my students found this MA thesis by Matthew J. Aslaksen submitted to the Bowling Green State University August 2006. From the abstract:

I have argued that emo represents challenge to conventional norms of hegemonic middle-class masculinity, a challenge which has come about as a result of feelings of discontent with the emotional repression of this masculinity. In this work I have performed multiple interviews that include both performers and audience members who participate in this type of music. The questions that I ask the subjects of my ethnographic research focus on the meaning of this particular performance to both the audience and performers. In an attempt to further clarify the meaning of this form of expression, I draw upon the works of gender theorists such as Judith Butler R.W. Connell as well as several popular music theorists such as Mimi Schippers. Overall I hope to show the greater significance of emo as a shift in masculine expression by that is very thoroughly based in the middle class.

The Event of Spore

So I bought the new game Spore over the weekend. I have started it a few times and now my most advanced game is in the space stage and my ‘spaceship’ is at the highest level of advancement (‘Omniscient’). Sure I am a gamer, so I was very interested in playing such a hyped game, but I had other reasons, too. This is mainly because of the upcoming Fibreculture journal special issue on Web 2.0 and theories of the event, and Steven E. Jones’ book The Meaning of Video Games: Gaming and Textual Strategies. This post (over the fold) can be thought of as a very rough draft of some ideas that I want to develop for a Fibreculture submission.

Continue reading “The Event of Spore”