Thursday, 18 September 2008

Hot nugget o' thesis

Not really. Fom the section I am currently wordsmithing into oblivion - A personal reflection, the origins of my project:

...increasingly concerned about the way things are for girls today - the persistent and irritating prodding for them to grow up and buy adult consumables, the premature emphasis on sexuality, the lack of space and time to be creative, to discover things about themselves, and to daydream. I find myself asking, as people so predictably and tediously do when they are no longer children, “Is this how things were when I was a kid?”. In the interest of full disclosure, I should establish one thing right from the very beginning; My childhood was no Amish utopia of making handicrafts with my kinfolk and reading by the light of a candle. I was a child in the eighties which ripened by the middle of the decade into the plastic-scented nadir of the marketing-concept-as-entertainment phenomena. There is no denying that there was more plastic junk to buy children in the eighties than at any other time in history. Barbie, at the height of her bodacious powers, was queen of all toy departments, and the space around her was densely and vibrantly populated with Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Horrifically, many of these toys were engineered by greeting card companies, bolstered by wan back-stories which propelled them into movies, TV, video, and games from the lunch boxes and other merchandise they originated from. Each was like Frankenstein’s monster in a way. Hastily stitched together from the cheery and insincere sentiments of greeting cards, then inflated with a meerest puff of synthetic life, they were no less flat or lacking in charisma on screen than they were on the bed sheets or stuffed toys they sprang from. These “stories” - cursory back-fill as they so patently were -designed to pad their value and mileage in disingenuous deflection around the truth - they were simply marketing exercises designed to sell toys to kids - a complete reversal of traditional merchandising springing organically and opportunistically from the success of entertainment, such as books, film, and television programs. That was market research in action, with the products first, and the entertainment and education value to the child a secondary afterthought.


No comments: