October 13, 2012

"Scary, grown-up thoughts have shriveled his video game sack..."

Masculinity tied to video game prowess tied to the consumption of Slim Jims in this ad, discussed here:
Jonathan Byrne, an associate creative director at Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco, which is creating the campaign, said the ads are intended to balance promoting manliness with hanging on to the joys of boyhood.

“It’s not just about manliness, it’s also bucking responsibility,” Mr. Byrne said of the ads. “Avoiding the growing-up thing is a big part of it.”
Whatever you think of video games and Slim Jims, what do you think of conflating manliness and boyhood?
An animated sequence shows a kidney-shaped organ called a video game sack in a man’s midsection, which collapses as it collides with items like a wedding cake, minivan and baby carriage.
In this trope, actual adult manhood is feminizing. Arguably, this is the point of marriage and the reason why heterosexual marriage is held out to be the building block of society: The overly masculine young man needs to be diluted with femininity in order to do the things that we as a whole want him to do — be economically productive and produce the next generation. In this view, playing video games — and generally camping out in everlasting boyhood — is a preservation of full manhood. A transgressive thought... but that's a big part of advertising, making the consumer feel that they're a big old rebel for purchasing some unremarkable product... this dessicated strip of meat...

What is the most pathetic dessicated strip of meat?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

34 comments:

Surfed said...

In an ounce for ounce comparison with any other cut of meat Slim Jims are the most expensive meat in the world. Go figure...

Bob Ellison said...

None of your poll choices is pathetic. They're heroic! And Slim Jims promote development of natural gas, which is a low-carbon form of energy.

ricpic said...

A manchild reigns himself in to become a caring, responsible man and in Althouseland that relegates him to beta status.

Bob Ellison said...

I couldn't choose a vote for the poll, so I asked my wife to pick one. She refused, saying "I don't think of anything as a dessicated piece of meat." She's a pescetarian, too.

ricpic said...

Oops. Reins not reigns. Although, come to think of it, reigns also applies.

Bob Ellison said...

My wife points out that methane is also a potent ozone-depleting molecule. It's a difficult subject.

ricpic said...

What's a pescatarian? a fish eater? or is that a piscetarian?

Jeff said...

As a 30 year old who plays video games, but is also married and pushes a baby carriage (I'm a stay at home Dad), I find insecurity in one's masculinity to be the leading indication of dessicated strip of meat syndrome.

Bob Ellison said...

A pescetarian is someone who eats veggies and fish, but not land animals.

BarryD said...

The whole question is based on a false dichotomy.

There are many ways to live that aren't characterized by either image.

The real problem is that so many people seem to be unaware of what they are.

Shouting Thomas said...

The "gamer sack" organ appears to be a kidney!

Urination has superseded reproduction?

I had expected a scrotum.

Curious George said...

At :10 I suddenly thought "I wonder what Andy is up to today". Weird.

Surfed said...
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Shouting Thomas said...

Urination has superseded reproduction?

Now, that I think about it, peeing is just about the only functional thing you do with your dick if you aren't making babies.

Bob Ellison said...

Surfed, great story, well told.

Shouting Thomas said...

"Failure to Launch" is the ultimate refusal to grow up movie.

Saw it a couple of weeks ago on Netflix.

Hilarious.

Of course, "Hot Tub Time Machine" is a pretty good exploration of the same territory.

Steve Austin said...

This discussion hits home. I grew up as a kid in the world of 80's video games. Atari, Nintendo, Video arcades. And I loved it.

However, these new enjoyments were considered toys. And when you grow up, the toys need to be tossed away.

So heading off to college, you were maybe allowed to play one round of video games at the bar as a nostalgia item. But that was it. Back to more acceptable "adult" pursuits like drinking!

Heck, if you were seen playing a video game at the bar, even Golden Tee, your chance of getting a girl that night was over. You had to move on to adulthood. Get a job, get married, build a family. A man doesn't play video games, only the boy.

However, it is now apparently acceptable to carry a like of video games over into adulthood WITHOUT destroying your manhood. I even read these studies that show women now play video games as often as men. I'm amazed at how video games now are considered socially acceptable for all ages and both sexes. They weren't in the 80's and 90's.

DADvocate said...

Tough choices. Definitely not the Slim Jim. Not too long ago, and still in certain pockets, a man can get a job, be married and not be feminized. Being a husband and father isn't feminizing per se. Being led down the feminine path while doing so is.

Farmers, miners, skilled and unskilled laborers, a lot of those guys you see on TV reality shows are men. Troy Landry is one hell of a man and a good father. Love that guy.

The commercial is just a fun, stupid ploy. All the men know it.

Surfed said...

Years ago I was working on my sailboat at the dock. My then 5 year old son was in the stern and being very quiet. I noticed there was no noise emanating from him and looked back. He was hanging off the stern with a Slim Jim in hand and a small-ish alligator attached to the other end. Tug of war going on. His mother didn't hear abpout that one for a decade.

Pogo said...

Adult manhood isn't feminizing, it's taming.

Remaining wild, like the Lost Boys in Peter Pan, is the trope.

Marriage no longer offers the benefits to men it once did, so it's hard to argue with their plan to remain children.

edutcher said...

Keep in mind, the guys who came up with this idea are from San Fiasco.

EDH said...

There is a difference between "bucking responsibility" and "dodging a bullet".

Why, in the case of women, the latter is called by uplifting names like "reproductive freedom"?

Nomennovum said...

"What's the most pathetic dessicated strip of meat?"

Michael Jackson?

Nomennovum said...

If you google "pathetic dessicated strip of meat," you will find that, apparently, Anne Althouse is the most pathetic dessicated strip of meat.

Ironic or the Curse of Google?

Sorry, Ann.

Nomennovum said...
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Nomennovum said...

When you consider it, the likelihood is that the man who drives a mini-van and pushes a stroller has a lower level of testosterone than the 30 year old video game player. He might even have less testosterone than a Slim Jim, but I can't be sure

Chip Ahoy said...

Shriveled game sack ha ha ha ha ha ha that is soooo funny.

It's a tradeoff innit, you power up one way and shrivel another.

The most feminized thing I ever saw totally killed me. I had to be resurrected just to carry on. The first time I went to my friend's house, Geraldo, a deaf guy whose family is from Puerto Rico. Everything in that house and I mean EVERYTHING is totally femmed out omg lace everywhere fancy diddly shit all over the place. I forget why we ended up there en mass but it shocked us all and we talked about it then proceeded to party. But first we all nearly barfed all at once. A whole bunch of deaf kids and me, all shocked at once at Geraldo's parent's house because the whole thing is like a fancy lady on steroids and we all wondered and then felt pity that a guy was married to that and became okay with that, and children grew up in that environment. Or maybe that was just me making them talk about it, but we did talk about it.

Kelly said...

I don't know if this means anything, but my son-in-law was playing on x-box live while watching the vp debate at the same time...they had instant polling of the debate, he said the other gamers were loving them some Joe Biden. Apparently, immature, disrespectful, goofiness appeals to the young male population.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

It's not the video-game playing that accounts for perpetual adolescence. It's a mindset, curated by years of coddling and showing-up trophies.

It's a different kind of man-boy love association.

bagoh20 said...

Those are for eating? I thought they were suppositories.

Paul Zrimsek said...

A Slim Jim is a cylinder of meat (aha!)-- not a strip.

Erika said...

Eh, I tend to agree with the guy who writes the Art of Manliness blog; he had an excellent post detailing how a man creates; a boy consumes. Setting aside overindulgence in immediate gratification/pleasure/consumption in order to plan and execute long-term projects such as creating a healthy family, a career, a garden, a work of art--that is being a man. Burning through large amounts of time doing nothing but lighting up pleasure centers in your brain--that is being a boy.

Which, relatedly, is how I feel when I go on an Althouse bender when I spend a lot of time here reading and commenting. I subscribe to the Proverbs 31 ideal as a woman, wife and mother--largely, industrious--and the time I spend here isn't exactly productive. I guess it takes a time-waster to know a time-waster : )

Dante said...

One person's fun is another person's racism/sexism/ageism.