Tag : controversy
Tag : controversy
H&M have borne the brunt of a lot of flack for their unsustainable form of fast fashion: From deaths in unsafe Bangladeshi factories, to assertions of pay inequality, to a focus on their high churn of clothing that encourages unnecessary wastage, it’s hard out there for the brand at the moment.
Their new campaign reflects just that acknowledgment: To change the perception of what a huge, global fast fashion chain can do for the community and the environment.
The general idea centres around breaking fashion rules: From wearing pink and red at the same time to daring to stand out amongst the crowd, H&M are telling us that they don’t care how we wear their clothes, or who is in them – as long as we recycle our clothing.
In the campaign video below, we see a two pronged approached acknowledging the issues of wastage and fashion diversity – with the former being ‘solved’ by a recycling drive, and the latter with a ‘Colours Of Benneton’ style rainbow of cultures and body types featured in their clothing.
But can a 2 minute video featuring a hijab and an amputee really convince us that H&M are anything but fast, cheap fashion that is made by the poor and sold to the (relatively) rich? Sure, it gave me the feels (the right pull quotes and a good score can do that to a girl), but I was left with a feeling that I’d been a victim of marketing churn.
After all, if H&M cared about *all* cultures, wouldn’t they ensure safe working conditions and equal pay to their factory workers? And if H&M really cared about recycling, wouldn’t they try a more sustainable approach with fabrics that took less of a toll on the environment?
The thing is, it’s relatively cheap to make a campaign video and throw a couple of ‘recycling bins’ into your stores. But it’s much more expensive to change the manufacturing processes that allow you to sell a dress for $4.95.
Watch the new campaign video below.
-Bianca O’Neill / @alphabetponymag
It’s been all over the interwebz: Redfoo releases tasteless, mysoginistic single, people complain it’s mysoginistic, Redfoo refuses to apologise. Nay, defends said song with an argument of semantics.
Redfoo then starts sending take down requests to media who are criticising his “work”, claiming defamation. And in my opinion, this is a particularly dangerous defensive tactic.
Lets get one thing out of the way first: This particularly rife brand of male entitlement uses a defense of ‘it’s humorous, get a life feminazis’ as an excuse for a kind of rampant offensiveness that both threatens women and insults men. It speaks of an assumption that, just like in the song, women who don’t agree with Redfoo should just ‘shut the fuck up’. It brings to mind Bliss N Eso’s recent Instagram posts in a certain wax museum.
The difference here, however, is that instead of (half) apologising like Bliss n Eso did, Redfoo then attempted to bully media into removing references to his sexism due to the claim that he’s ‘not sexist’.
I’m sorry, but your assertion that you’re not sexist is not proof that you’re not sexist – in the same way that a white person is not automatically absolved of all racist remarks by claiming, post-joke that they’re not racist because “I have a black friend!”
Entitlement is a particularly concerning feeling in the hands of someone like Redfoo: He wrote lyrics that project he is entitled to tell women how they should act, regardless of their assertions of ‘no’, in order to fulfil his own sexual and social desires. He feels he is entitled to educate a new generation of men, speaking on their behalf, to inform women that no does not, in fact, mean no.
And then, when challenged by both men and women, he feels he is entitled to control their opinion of him by releasing his legal bulldogs on them in order to intimidate people critical of him into submission.
You may ask why I’m weighing in on this debate following such heavy discussion on the topic: And the above paragraph is exactly why.
In the face of such an appalling assumption of entitlement from Redfoo, I feel it necessary to point out my own entitlement: And that is to say whatever the fuck I feel like when a man (or woman) attempts to force me to do something I don’t want to do.
No means no.
There’s a little caveat to defamation law here, Redfoo: It’s not defamation if it’s true.
-Bianca O’Neill / @musicjourno
I love Lana Del Rey. She constantly gives me reasons to write inflammatory articles that garner sweet, sweet hits on this very blog. Take, for example, my last one.
And now ol’ Lizzy thinks she can just release a beautiful video, featuring imagery steeped in historical Americana that references her entire album plot, AND cast a black guy as the revered President Kennedy – all without illiciting disturbingly hateful racist commentary via YouTube? Oh, LDR, you’re so funnee!
Let’s watch said ‘racially-charged’ clip together, now:
I bet the first thing that came to mind WASN’T one of the below real comments that were posted underneath the video on YouTube today (and have since been marked as spam or removed):
“Too bad we don’t see the exploded head of this defective primate aka negro at the end That could have been the only good thing of this video.” mg2001o
“Ugly monkey looking ghetto trashes shouldn’t be in this video, ruins it” Bob Barcley
“its an insult to my boy JFK to have some black thug portraying him” ryanlifts100
“LANA GOT JUNGLE FEVER” OFRichardDawkins666
WOW. I mean…. WOW.
I just don’t get why this video is offensive to so many people. Admittedly, the people it’s offensive to are racist fuckheads, but don’t they know that if they’re going to be racist fuckheads in 2012 that they have to at least hide it? I mean, it’s perfectly acceptable for guys to wear scarves these days, especially if they’re covering up their red neck.
The idea that LDR and A$AP are representing a President, who gave a historic civil rights address to his people calling on all to be equal in the ‘land of the free’, as black, is FAR from offensive. Beyond that, it’s even further from offensive in a world where America finally has elected a black President themselves.
Further to this, the song is titled National Anthem, and provides a sad commentary on the America of today being driven by money, power and beauty – and uses a powerful video to illustrate a self-critical political point. A video harking back to a time when America was going through war, civil rights issues, immigration upheval and nuclear war threats. Sound familiar?
Perhaps America’s core social issues lay in the very freedoms its citizens are allowed. Does freedom of speech work if it facilitates loud, hateful commentary?
Oh, hi Josh.
I think it’s ironic you’ve opened your latest tirade about an increasingly complex and universally misunderstood issue with a statement that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is ‘ignorant of the current state of the industry.’ Mainly because the rest of the article is centred around your ignorance of the current state of the industry.
Before I continue, a few disclaimers.
And now, on to the terribly erroneous article. Let’s start at the top.
“Smart musicians have long recognised that a day is coming where music will be a free commodity.”
So, you’re arguing that the musicians who expect to make a living off their copywrited, original material are the dumb ones? Considering Fairfax is about to axe 1900 jobs I suggest you get smart and recognise that a day will come when writing, too, will be a free commodity. Oh, wait, you expect to get paid for your intellectual property? Well, you must be one of the ‘dumb’ ones. Yeah, me too.
“First off, the file sharing debate has been raging for years. From Napster to Kazaa to Limewire to BitTorrent to Megaupload to Files Tube and now on to services like Spotify and Rdio…”
Uh… say what? Spotify and Rdio are streaming services that have approached record companies to ensure at least a couple of silver coins are sent the artists way when their music is played. Sure, it’s never enough, but it’s a start. Let’s just say at least the Spotify CEO isn’t swimming through gold bullion a-la Scrooge McKim Dotcom while the musicians that made him the money can’t eat.
“It’s no ground-shaking revelation that revenues from recorded music have declined sharply, and exponentially, in recent years.”
Seriously, you didn’t even wiki that one? First rule of online journalism my friend. Hey, I worked at a couple of record companies and we often had our moments when we were lamenting the loss of the 90s music industry excess and wished we were snorting coke of models and drinking Bolly in leer jets. But let’s look at the reality here: profits from recorded music have been growing again, especially in Australia, thanks to digital music. The ‘decline’ is slowing (not ‘declining sharply and exponentially’), and digital music now accounts for over 30% of sales. You can read proof about that in the ‘news’ here – you know, the one with the ‘facts’: http://www.themusicnetwork.com/music-news/industry/2012/03/28/australia-now-6th-biggest-music-market/
“The prevailing ideology among listeners is that music should be free, and not much will change that.”
See above, that bit about people spending more money on digital music than ever before? Certainly seems like the $8 BILLION DOLLARS spent last year on digital music alone screams ‘WE WILL PAY FOR MUSIC’ (subtext ‘if it’s good’ / ‘if it’s easily accessible’ / ‘if my itunes doesn’t crash again’) Just because you and your friends don’t value musicians enough to pay for their intellectual property, doesn’t mean everyone else in the world is an asshole.
Now, let’s address this whole “I pay for live music so I’m giving more money to the artists blah de blah blah.” Firstly, as a fellow music journalist I call bullshit on your claim that you get sent free CDs but always pay to see bands. It’s called a review pass.
Secondly, this idea that ALL THE SWEET SWEET CASH from touring or merchandise goes directly to the band is the most naive thing I’ve ever heard. They’re called TOURING COMPANIES. And MERCHANDISE COMPANIES. Oh, and sorry to burst your perfect world bubble, but they’re totally not charities, set up purely to help bands make some money apart from the evil, evil record companies who murder all the puppies in the world.
(On a side note, can we stop doing this too? Every person I’ve ever met who works in a record company does so because they truly love music and let’s be honest they really don’t get paid much for it, and get very little recognition for their work behind an album. Whenever you’re tempted to descend into an ‘evil record companies’ rant just think of that bit in Team America where Baldwin does that annoying ‘corporations/corporation-y’ bit. That’s JUST what you sound like.)
Then comes the most ridiculous conclusion of the whole article. That bit when you get out your calculator and decide that if you’ve paid more for tickets than the value of the albums you ripped then you have actually done the right thing! Well done you! Except that the whole financial-ly thing is EXPONENTIALLY MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.
Let’s ignore, firstly, the whole division of royalties situation that people spend their entire lives working on. (PS: APRA, you can take a break, Josh has got it all worked out!) Let’s take just one, tiny little aspect of this whole issue: Before Prince came to Australia this year, his 2011 Welcome To America Tour ticket prices ranged from US$26.65 up. Australian tickets STARTED at $199 (which, by the way, I gladly PAID for.)
Now, we could sit here and assume that Prince is sitting on his purple velvet throne, and Chuggie asks him to tour Oz, and Prince is like “No way man, not unless you pay me 8 times my usual fee!” followed by a finger snap. Or, we could assume that Prince gets paid pretty much the same fee no matter where he goes in the world. So where is the other $172.35? There wasn’t even a support act to pay…
And then that hamburger comment? Well, I’m assuming if you made really crap music yourself at home, then you’re right – you might be compelled to actually start paying for some good music. And the jeans comment? Well, if you walked out of the store with them without paying YOU WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR STEALING.
And then, to top it all off, there’s this corker: “Not every person I know… feels the obligation to pay the artist back as much as I do.”
Look, I don’t claim to know what the magic answer is, but let’s start getting all the facts out there in the public about this complex subject. I’m so tired of reading this uninformed, mostly inaccurate, mainly conjecture based gossip.
As a good friend and fellow music journalist rightly said: “If it continues like this, I’m just going to have to hang around the backstage entrance, stuff money into musicians’ hands when I see them, and then run away.”
And wouldn’t the world be so much easier if we all just did that.
Please read the ‘Part 2′ response article from Groupie here.
Following the outburst online this week about adidas Originals’ recent collaboration with Jeremy Scott for the new JS Roundhouse Mids sneaker, we here at Alphabet Pony are wondering if a sneaker design can be racist? It seems a little far fetched.
Before the politically correct masses jumped to conclusions, perhaps they could have done a little research on sneaker culture first. The sneaker was designed by Scott to be a modern take on the 80s style classic high-top sneaker with a strap across the middle. I mean, no one thought these babies reflected slavery when they came out:
Add to that the tag line for the sneaker’s marketing pitch: “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” – sound more conceptual than concerning to us.
A rep for Adidas has said the shoe will now be taken off the marketplace due to the complaints: “Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favourable and critical feedback. We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
It’s all a big shame really – had these sneakers been designed and released in Japan would the cultural reference still have been applicable?
Jean-Paul Gaultier’s couture tribute to Amy Winehouse for his SS12 collection has apparently been a flop with fans, including the father of the late soul singer. Featuring 50’s inspired garments displayed by models decorated with Winehouse’s signature hair, mole and ubiquitous cigarette, the show also included a barbershop quartet singing her hits.
Unsurprisingly Mitch Winehouse was not amused at the references to his daughter, commenting; “To see her image lifted wholesale to sell clothes was a wrench we were not expecting or consulted on… “We’re still grieving for her loss, and we’ve had a difficult week with the six-month anniversary. We’re proud of her influence on fashion but find black veils on models, smoking cigarettes with a barbershop quartet singing her music in bad taste. It portrays a view of Amy when she was not at her best, and glamorises some of the more upsetting times in her life.”
Tensions were further inflamed when fashion personality and friend of Winehouse, Kelly Osbourne, weighed in, calling Gaultier’s show “lucratively selfish and distasteful”. Watch the runway show below.