Saturday, October 13, 2007

exhausted by empty design....can I SCREAM!

Venting, thoughts, and the like....

While currently studying towards a degree in Communication Design, I have made the 5 day/ 48 hour sacrifice to volunteer at the bi-annual AIGA conference. AIGA is the professional association for design that offers professional support for today's top designers. As this has been an incredible opportunity making great contacts and igniting loads of knowledge, it has also been a heavy wake up call in general design character, extreme trendy culture, and artistic ethics.

There have been times during this experience where I have wanted to scream, tear down walls, and rip off hea.....I mean?!

Finding that I get very angry to blatant, crude, and vulgar sexual humor, I told myself to operate with a fresh force field of patience everyday as I learn to interact within this new culture. Constantly listening to heavy criticism, fashion boundaries, and egoistic attitudes; I again tell myself to relax and realize that not everyone in here is like this and that anywhere you go you will find similar energy. Furthermore, I tell myself that people make sense and I am NO better than anyone in this convention center.

Humbled and weak I again embark on a new day and welcome my fellow volunteers and AIGA employees with a smile and fresh attitude.

Command X is the name of the reality show that the conference in putting on. Going along with the idea of "American Idol," they bring seven design students from varying schools to compete against one another until all but one has been eliminated. There highly energized host who is accompanied by four preselected judges. Growing with optimism, I eagarly begin watching this entertaining display of humor, competition, and creation.

If you think about it, it's a great opportunity to go in front of 2,000 of the country's top designers and fight to create, for example the new Denver Broncos Logo.

As the show progressed the judges started making vulgar comments about each other and laughed them off as like it was apart of the show. There were a lot of jokes and puns related to sex, profanity, and the like. I am not a stiff, and I honestly don't mind the occasional "cuss" word in allowing some "exclamation" in my communication. However, abusing that form of communication in such a large audience on top of being a panel of judges who are suppose to be ideal role models for the 600 plus students in the audience seems that it should be unacceptable. It seemed to peak when the jokes started revolving around wanting to hit on or date one of the students. In weak attempts to create crowd giggling, SO much of the original purpose was lost in the immature comments and surface funnies. I felt as if I had purchased a ticket for a live high school drama on MTV. As I started to steam up, I decided to get out of my chair for the "vote" of the winners and losers of the second assignment.

Pancake covered sausages on a stick by Jimmy Dean was the challenge of choice. Funny, creative, and a great idea to keep the crowd engaged with an honest approach in displaying America's strange eating habits. It seemed like something that could be fun and hopefully shift the current energy. The first four examples were very unique and deeply creative and fit the assigned topic. Going with the sexual energy of the crowd, the last contestant chose to have a busty cowgirl riding the pancake covered sausage. Surrounded by sexually twisted text and an attitude of laying it all out there, she sold the crowd. They loved it. Clapping, screaming, hollering, and what seemed to be genuine laughter. Okay, so I smirked and gave credit, if nothing else, to the fact that it was very creative and well designed. However, when it came to choosing the 3 winners out of the five I didn't even give it a chance. Why? Because it was one step from communicating soft porn. It was all about Dalia and her meat stick. Before announcing the winners the judges clearly stated that there decisions were based primarily on there effectiveness in today's grocery stores.

Sure enough the cowgirl was a winner.
The crowd went wild. The judges laughed. The artist was pleased.

I couldn't sit, smile, or think clearly. My face was red. I wanted to hit something. Did I really just see an entire audience and panel of judges come together and choose an ad SO obviously inappropriate for the younger grocery store generation. Did I really see that collectively there was a priority given to the sexual humor over any kind of existing morality.

Ah, I know I have ranted to you people who have read this.

I am not perfect and sure don't have all the answers. I screw up and feel awful about what this crazy culture is doing in my own mind. However, I cannot help but burn, itch, and squirm at the obvious destruction and lack of awareness regarding this issue.

I would love to hear from anyone who has experienced something similar. I felt alone. I felt that I was the only one in that entire theater that could sit and watch what was taking place.

It seems like a simple story......something that any average Joe could just brush by.

I can't.

I feel convicted for just sitting there and watching it.

AHHHH...a;d fjlasjdfkjasl dfjlkas d blah......okay.

Hope you are all doing well! ....and I am doing really well, really!!! ....I just felt the need and desire to share!



Anonymous said...

you are in the world, not of it, no wonder you were pissed off by the blantant ignorance and stupidity of the crowd. Good for you for not going with the flow and fueling the fire. You are in the right and thank God for that...

Ronan said...

Honestly, at that I would have to kill something. Realy. I do make the odd sex joke etc. and am nowhere NEAR a 'nice' person most of the time. HOWEVER, crap like THAT would drive me to utter rage paramount. Well done, you controlled yourself. I know what your like and I know how you would have reacted and probably said. The world is a horrible place at times and the wonderful one at others. I feel the same when shows like that come on. The mindless idiocy of the world and the people within it drives me to new lengths of patiance, oddly enough. Keep on the track, man. I'm on it with you.

Ronan (I love you man, and you know what I mean so never even THINK of taking that out of context)