While it's true that the following things created a great deal of outrage a number of weeks ago, I feel that outrage can often get richer and more potent given time to sit.

A two-year-old ad for an Edmonton hair salon was recently thrust back into the spotlight after a blogger found it obscurely offensive.
The ad features a fancy prairie lady sporting a black eye presumably given her by the man standing behind their Eisenhower-era couch (I suppose that should be "St-Laurent-era", but I know more about Eisenhower because all I ever learned from those "A Part of Our Heritage" commercials was that most Canadian actors are suspect and that epileptic seizures are often heralded by the smell of burnt toast).

So the woman has been abused, but, Fluid Hair tells us, that's no reason for her to let herself go. A Fluid woman, presumably, would also take the time to gussy up during a hurricane, terrorist attack, or nuclear meltdown. Think of all the other topical and offensive print-ad possibilities!

The hair-salon owner, Sarah Cameron, was, surprisingly enough, both surprised and defensive, because:

“The ads were our interpretation of a particular ‘art form'. Is it cutting edge advertising? Yes. Is it intended to be a satirical look at real life situations that ignites [sic] conversation and debate? Of course. Is it to everyone’s taste? Probably not.”

This leads to my first suggestion: whatever "art form" this ad is ostensibly "interpreting" should be immediately outlawed. My second suggestion is that anyone wanting to make what they believe to be satirical art should be forced to apply for a permit. They should be forced to apply for that permit to ME, so that when I rejected them, I could also say some very mean and petty things.

The next distasteful images related to domestic violence bring us into the realm of inconsistent, prime-time, musical television shows. Heather Morris, who plays Brittany on Glee, was photographed by Tyler Shields with a fake black eye, and various 1950's domestic accessories.

The close-up of Morris with the black eye is not the worst thing ever, and Shield's admittedly tedious claim that "even Barbie bruises" could be said to provide some theoretical underpinning for the work. But his suggestion that these shots are all about showing that attractive, blonde women can be victims of violence is undermined by the fact that the other photos look like out-takes from the cover-shoot for an unreleased Warrant album. 
If these photos aren't sexualizing a victim of some kind of violence, then Tyler Shields is an interesting and cutting-edge artist.

Making it possible for me to hate more people involved in this situation, US Weekly kicked off its story about the photo shoot with: "She's got that boom boom pow!" 

Both the hair-salon ad and the Morris photos seem weirdly to nostalgically fetishize 1950s-ish, 1960-ish domestic bondage and violence against women. It's like a stupid ad exec and a stupid photographer watched an episode of Mad Men while drunk and thought, "Those dresses are awesome! Retro's really in right now!" and then made some really questionable and embarrassing creative decisions.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.
10/19/2013 09:04:58 am

Great blog, enjoyed browsing through the site


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