Deparkerization?

I work in a bookstore where someone recently asked me about the Parker wine guide.

I answered with a bit of surprise : nobody asked me that in years! I checked and realized that the last Parker guide, in France, was from 2009.

We asked ourselves about how nobody seems to care anymore about Parker.

I remembered the “problems” at the time : the guy was giving notes to wines (from 0 to 100), and he was so powerful (or such an influencer) that wine makers around the world had begun to twiddle their wines around to satisfy him. And the higher notes made some wine unaffordable. And in France we have a suspicion about notes, the idea of “evaluation gives a digit”. Especially in Arts and human activities. Etc.

In fact, there were many “controversies”. The “Mondovino” documentary ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411674/ ) tells a bit about them…

If a wine is Parkered 67/100, is it better than a 63/100? Really?

This leads to many structures :

  1. The fact that Parker used digits to “note” wines was a problem in itself. Therefore we could note movies, poems, maybe love, why note? “This poem is a 88/100 and my wife is a 76”. Can we do this and why?
  2. Parker was powerful and listened, and when he titled a book “Bordeaux, The Definitive Guide for the Wines Produced Since 1961”, the impact was huge. What is a “definitive” ranking?
  3. Why is someone a star of an influencer at one moment and pretty much nothing ten years after? What about the stars we have today?
  4. What about “controversies”? Should we listen to the cons, always? How to study their arguments?
  5. What does one do with “Mainstream Tastes”? Do we jump happily in the pool of obedient followers? What is mainstream in a small world of specialists? Why do people follow, and who are those who don’t and try to find less frequented paths?
  6. What is social pressure when it’s activated by an influencer, a critic?
  7. If there a “Number One Influencer”, who’s the second (let’s rank the rankers, bim!), and the third? What if we compare them, organize ideas fights?
  8. What about the minority of the “last followers”, the believers? What if they were right?

Then, again : where to apply and think with these tools? Photography? Movies? Fashion? Anthropology?

This article made you think about other people? Who?

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

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“This is how it should be done: lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times.”

Gilles Deleuze

Signs of Bad Signs III : Panurgism & Sheeple

François Rabelais (1483-1553), says Wikipedia, was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar.

His literary legacy is such that today, the word Rabelaisian has been coined as a descriptive inspired by his work and life. Merriam-Webster defines the word as describing someone or something that is “marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism”.

Who’s Panurge? He is one of the principal characters in Gargantua and Pantagruel, a series of five novels by François Rabelais.

“Suddenly, I do not know how, it happened, I did not have time to think, Panurge, without another word, threw his sheep, crying and bleating, into the sea. All the other sheep, crying and bleating in the same intonation, started to throw themselves in the sea after it, all in a line. The herd was such that once one jumped, so jumped its companions. It was not possible to stop them, as you know, with sheep, it’s natural to always follow the first one, wherever it may go”.

Francois Rabelais, Quart Livre, chapter VIII

In French, it’s a very well know idiom. People who behave like sheeps – herd behavior, herding, flock mentality.

We call them Moutons de Panurge (Sheeps of Panurge) and their behavior as Panurgism.

Of course it’s funny to see this in these fields : Fashion. Marketing (“cattle displacement”). Mainstream Medias. Consumers. Advertising.

It also leads to concepts to study : Discernment.

Wiki : Discernment is the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well (or the activity of so doing). In the case of judgment, discernment can be psychological or moral in nature. Within judgment, discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. Considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.

Herd Behavior the same : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_behavior

In animal behavior, panic movements, human societies, the Archetype of The Crowd, stock market bubbles, decision making, mass hysteria – there are many links to click at the bottom of this Wikipedia page.

One sure thing : if in a crowded store there’s a bargain announced, you see many people running, and you see only a few watching the consequentially disgraceful and unworthy mess.

Let’s have fun saying the one who claim they are NOT Sheeps of Panurge are herding in another way :

Asymmetric aggregation of animals under panic conditions has been observed in many species, including humans, mice, and ants. For example, when panicked individuals are confined to a room with two equal and equidistant exits, a majority will favor one exit while the minority will favor the other.

Characteristics of escape panic include:

  1. Individuals attempt to move faster than normal.
  2. Interactions between individuals become physical.
  3. Exits become arched and clogged.
  4. Escape is slowed by fallen individuals serving as obstacles.
  5. Individuals display a tendency towards mass or copied behavior.
  6. Alternative or less used exits are overlooked.

Have fun. Thanks for reading!

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Pee-Poo Deadpool & Exasperating Frozen Songs…

Remember Frozen? It was CRAZY. It was everywhere : the songs, the DVDs, the dolls and the Elsa toys. It was so crazy that at one point, people become to be bored and sarcastic about it. “Let it gohhhhhh”. Pfff…

Then I watched it and found it… just OK.

In another region of mainstream entertainment, I watched Deadpool one day and couldn’t go til the end, bored by casual murders, bad jokes & puns, plus an horrible feeling of smart-ass irony detection, as if I was a geek target all movie long.

In France we call this humor under the belt “pipi caca” (pee poo).

Want examples? : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1431045/quotes/

Soooo irreverent!!! Awwwee : therefore you saw cargos of people being so flattered to get Lord of the Rings or X-Men puns in Deadpool! Perfect to be a viral success, right? Parody! Irony! Teasers! Funny to be idiotic! Outrageous!

As they say in Wiki :

Reynolds worked closely with Fox domestic marketing chief to use the internet to their advantage and come up with cheaper, “Deadpool-based” ways to market the film.

Of course : targets! Moving cattle. Elbowing the audience… and… There’s a II. You don’t say!…

This morning I read a blog article written by the perfect target, who was really upset. The Frozen bored thing (“here we are with weeks of more terrible pee-poos from Deadpool – to elbow me”) mixed with the sentiment of being a part of a stock, of some cattle to move.

Let’s laugh with us! Deadpool II is stupidfunnier! Give money, we’re cool! Irony by the shovel! Laugh when I pun!

Well, this article is too long, and it’s not cool to talk about Deadpool (Marvel, therefore Disney) and Frozen (Disney – Hey wait a minute…).

Marketing is too be smart. Viral can work to move your cattle. BUT if you insist, if you are too long, you upset people. Upset people not good.

OK, you’re right, I should… Let it gohhhhhh…

Here’s the French version. So there.

Have a nice day!

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-> ahahah so peepoo

When your comfort zone is in Mainstream Children Marketing, you live in PARADISE

Why do I feel a slight nausea when I see BB-8 with a Santa Claus Hat or the death star covered with snow?

The concept of Comfort Zone is useful. Inside this (we all need that, right?), we’re easy and happy, like a sleeping baby. We have all we need, that’s COOL. You absolutely don’t have to explore the outside : it’s unknown, maybe dangerous, blah blah blah, and you could discover things…

If you’re an adult and you love Harry Potter, Disney, Star Wars and all the marketing around it (Pop Figures, Lego, etc) and you have plenty of money, I see you live in total and uninterrupted paradise. For your own happiness, you just have to visit stores. Then, as a good target you are, you’ll go from one “Oh! Ah!” to “Woaw that’s cool! I want it!”.

EVERYTHING there is ready for you and for your bliss : Lego Star Wars Advent Calendars, Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses Goodies (scarves, tee shirts, etc), Disney Consumer Products (you’ll find plenty of elements of their targeting processes on the web, for example here : https://www.marketing91.com/marketing-strategy-walt-disney/ ). I told you : it’s paradise!!

Happiness in idiocy is exactly what the system needs from you. Consent, obedience, servitude.

As long as you’re smiling with this new Falcon Millenium Lego or this Avengers Captain America doormat ($86 51 + $4.49 shipping on Amazon, today) or this very cool Disney/Pixar Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway Track Set ($179.74 & FREE shipping – 36 customer reviews), you’re OK. Life is a beauty! There are “822 results for Toys & Games : “Jack Skellington” on Amazon. Havem all?

“Come on! Live with your time!”

Yes, well : NO. I have another comfort zone, which is, in culture, I hope, a little larger. I’ll watch the new Star Wars for sure, and Blade Runner 2049 was great, but this week I read an interview with Lenny Bernstein about the Rite of Spring, tweets by Taleb, articles by Serge Daney or Pasolini, talked about dreams or creativity about Valéry (poet), realism (or not, cf Sorolla) in Zorn’s paintings, Sander’s links with Walker Evans (photographer), or symbols analyzed by Durand (anthropologist who liked Bachelard). Tonight I’ll probably watch… The Servant, by Losey. A good way to think about this, right?

And I’d hang myself if I had to watch cartoons while I coffee in the morning!

Argh! Bloody hell! I just realized that my comfort zone was… to expand mine.

Lazy me.

Trapped. Me moorings awweeeee.

 

Have a nice day!

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Geeks Targeting

Marketing : Cattle displacement

 

Salt & Pepper shakers : Vader & Stormtroopers (awweee). Monopoly Game of Thrones (!??). A Spiderman Pop Figure looking like he’s 3 years old (well…). Warcraft (or Harry Potter, whatever) cooking or cocktails books (yeah yeah yeah).

This article is not an article, it’s a question :

How does it feel to be a target?

Happiness? You buy? What’s the part of “Oh well, they got my money : I have a $20 stormtrooper salt shaker now…”? Is this cool? What about this little Pop thing on your desk? Is it just “cute”, or is it “cute, but, all right, it $30 of crappy plastic”?

Well, I almost had a little crush for the shakers, ohlalaaaaa…

Thanks for reading!

 

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GOT-7

 

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“Le Dénicheur” is the Hit Uponer

I work in a bookstore. Yesterday a guy asked me where to find books about dance. I showed him a little shelf under a table.

– Ah ah, he said in a smile, well hidden, right?
– Yes, I answered, but not the way you think it is.

You can show books in a bookstore in many ways.

  1. Big news are on front displays
  2. New books are on tables
  3. The “regularly stocked books” are on shelves
  4. What booksellers put on shelves under a table are those books which people come to buy

 

Yes of course, Medieval poetry, or books about dance are not in the top selling lists. But books about wedding or competitive exams training are good sells and they ARE under tables. People don’t come along in a bookstore hit uponing like “Oh, a book about how to become a customs officer, I’m suddenly interested!”. Wedding organization books are all the same : you come in order to find these. Therefore it’s not useful to put it at eye-level height. Voilà.

With this man, we talked about les dénicheurs.

A nest is called in France “un nid”. Thus “un dénicheur” is someone who removes birds (or eggs) from a nest. As it’s pretty rare to have this strange activity, for the verb “dénicher” (it could be : “To denest”), we French all understand “To hit upon”, “To unearth”.

Here we are!

In a store, are you the Mainstream Type, following marketing and medias, buying best sellers and prized titles, overpresented books under spotlights? Or are you the Unearthing Type, called also the Hit Uponer, forgotten corners prone, exploring the deserted alleys of Anthropology, International Situationism or Avant-Garde Jazz?

Probably both, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

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#Geek #Marketing : Cattle Displacement

Marketing, it is what it is.

But Geek Marketing is like more terrible to watch (why?). You see human beings “happy to buy” this “mainstream but no-mainstream” shit, from Funko Pop to Walking Dead comics (162 issues today), from Goth subculture clothes & things from the Star (Wars or Trek?). Eeeeeekkkk!

They never finish to gather to… say they’re different. Well, they’re moved : cattle displacement. Buy buy buy.

Tool : Obey : buy this Jack Skellington Pop, this Hello Kitty purse, and this 700$ Falcon Millenium Lego. Obey (all these things are very cool).

Or not!

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : natgeo

 

Umberto Eco & the Open Work

Umberto Eco wrote an entire book about the idea of Open Work. I just present you here this idea, as a seed, that a “work” has an openness.

A work “appears” like this or like that, but has a number of ways of being read (seen, viewed, watched, decoded, interpreted, appreciated, contemplated, analyzed). This seems obvious for the sheet music, the score, or for a play, right?

  1. There’s maybe an “obvious” openness, a prescribed way to read a work, but it can be a little more vague, like a set of possibilities – until complete crypticness : find what you can, if you dare to do it, then.
  2. Some elements are often chosen by the artist to let the audience appropriate the work their way, but not “that” their way. Symbolic novels are obviously made for this purpose (Kafka is an example given by Eco).
  3. Opened or not, some people do what they want with a piece of work. It’s a whole decision, it requires culture, or tools, or ways of finding things.
  4. Some works, this way, can be enriched by a clever spectator, who would be delighted by elements, details, structures… the artist himself ignore!
  5. In classical music or theater, there’s a place between the work (the score) and the audience. The players (or the actors) have a big role about “how they see it”. But after that level, the audience will also interpret things…
  6. We probably want to find bonds between the work we study and our own searches, flaws, experiences…
  7. Add yours in the comments, please?

 

Tool : If you work out of the “artistic field”, in blogging, marketing, conversation, fashion, coaching, I’m sure you consider many parameters. You can make a list, right? Timeline, colours, variety, energy, waits, etc, there are many levers to pull. But have you considered the “openness” of what you propose?

 

Thanks for reading!

“Nommer un objet c’est supprimer les trois quarts de la jouissance du poème, qui est faite du bonheur de deviner peu a peu : le suggérer . . . voila le rêve”

“To name an object is to suppress three-fourths of the enjoyment of the poem, which is composed of the pleasure of guessing little by little: to suggest . . . there is the dream”

Mallarmé

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Instagram : jacopo.rigotti