“Imagine a world without white men”

These days it’s not uncommon to come across ‘white men bad’ type sentiments. It’s not uncommon for someone seen to be a ‘white man’, especially one who isn’t young and doesn’t seem to be poor, to have their views dismissed as irrelevant in the modern world.

All ‘white men’ are tarnished with the same white brush off.

Lucy Zee at The Spinoff:  Remembering the white men who tried to sell us stuff on TV

Imagine a world without white men.

Well for starters, New Zealand would have hardly any television commercials. My parents were very fresh Asian immigrants when they had me, and the only way I learned how to speak English before going to kindergarten was by watching TV.

TV back in the day wasn’t as diverse as it is now (or didn’t try as hard), so commercials were 99% white people with big white teeth, followed by more white people with even bigger and whiter teeth.

As I got older, the flashy whiteness steadily got more mind numbing and much more obnoxious. I couldn’t tell if my TV was showing the same amount of whiteness it always had, or if I had simply become more aware of my racial identity and demanded more diversity.

My entire life I had been raised by white men telling me what to buy, what to eat and how to eat it. Some ads worked, some didn’t, but I remembered all of them. Looking back on the past few years here is a list of the most memorable white men who tried sell me things I didn’t need.

A number of advertisement examples are given. Suzanne Paul, Marge and Briscoes aren’t included for obvious reasons.

So what did we learn? Even if you don’t watch TV anymore; even if you have an ad blocker on your browser; even if you stab your eyes out and block your ears; white guys are still out here trying to sell you something. If it’s not a tyre then it’s a dream. If it’s not a dream then it’s themselves.

The worst part of all this is that those “nostalgic” white men ads aren’t all that spectacular.

They must have been hopeless. Companies that advertised went broke, newspapers and broadcast media went broke (they are now but that’s a different story, Google isn’t a white male).

They do the absolute minimum an advert needs to do. If something is forced down your throat enough – all day, every day throughout your entire childhood – you’ll probably start to enjoy it. But we need variety, we need flavour, we need more colour on our plates. Because having too much white bread just isn’t good for us.

Funny thing – I only ever had white bread at home, browner bread with lumpy bits were a curiosity when I saw it at my neighbours – who happened to be a white couple. But the beer was all the same brown colour then too.

This article prompted some discussion at Reddit: Remembering the white men who tried to sell us stuff on TV

I don’t have the energy to care if it’s tongue in cheek or not but The Spinoff’s increasing amount of articles that focus on race (namely that white people are a problem) are starting to annoy me. If this is tongue in cheek then I really don’t understand the purpose apart from trying to create controversy.

Oh… it’s not tongue in cheek. She’s serious about white people controlling ads I guess. So she selected a few ads and used that as proof? And only men for that matter so I guess it’s sexist as well? I don’t get it.

Fuck this is tiresome.

Ah, but computer_d is bound to be a white male so he would say that. Ignore it.

You should put me on the ignore shelf too amongst the white cobwebs of the past – except that I could claim to be of a smaller minority than whatever Lucy Zee thinks they are (I presume non-male non-white).

What both of us write is grey on white – does it matter what colour our fingers are?

 

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82 Comments

  1. No white men. That beggars his ‘learning English off the TV’.
    And the electricity that powers the TV..
    Just those two will do

    Reply
  2. PDB

     /  July 21, 2017

    Now we have predominantly black men promoting sexism, violence and street gang lifestyle on MTV and the like – go figure?

    Anyone can selectively hand pick evidence to support their argument – turning the TV off is an option.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 21, 2017

      Mine is seldom on, as I have better things to do than watch it so as to be able to complain about it.

      It’s nonsense to say that there was ever a time when only white men did ads !

      Reply
  3. PDB

     /  July 21, 2017

    The irony of course is that if it wasn’t for those ‘awful white men’ Lucy wouldn’t have had a TV to watch!

    Reply
    • Cyril Figgis

       /  July 21, 2017

      Not that ironic, considering that television was invented during a period where science was almost completely dominated by white males.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 21, 2017

        And the other period was?

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  July 21, 2017

          Ouch!

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 21, 2017

            When the Chinese invented gunpowder? For fireworks? And then the white men used it to blow shit up with?

            I know they were Gypos, but the pharaohs, was they white folks, some of them was Noobiians wasn’t they?

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  July 21, 2017

              Genghis invented the cannon. He didnt fill it with rose petals

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Probably just as well. It woulda bin fkn useless. People woulda larfed at ‘im.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              They didn’t invent TV, G. Had to wait for the white men for that.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Was it bloody white men who decided to put so much bloody crap on it these days, Al?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              Dunno. Who owned the remote in your house?

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              She did. I only watched the first 35 mins of the gnus & the occasional movie or decent tv series. The rest of the time I was on forums destroying wankers.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              Likewise. Conclusion: it’s mostly white women who decided to put so much crap on it.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Likewise.
              Yeah, but at least I do it in a nice way!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              I’ll check with Blazer on that.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              I was very patient. I explained my reasoning, in detail. I gave him an uptick, & a prognosis, on request. I answered any questions he had. I gave him some tips for self-improvement, & would be happy to give him some more if he needs any .. 😳

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              Got a feeling B may not see it that way.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Yeah, well, I’m sure if he thinks about it he’ll see I meant well. Whereas you, Al, have just basically called him a wanker.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 22, 2017

              Only in the nicest possible way, G.

      • Cyril Figgis

         /  July 21, 2017

        I’m not sure I get your point, Alan. The point I was trying to make (maybe not very well) was that it’s hardly fair to imply, as PDB is, that Lucy should be grateful (or at least not complain) to white males for inventing television when no other portion of society was given a chance.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  July 21, 2017

          You are dealing in ‘what could have been’ Cyril rather than what did actually occur………aside from that your comment is nonsense – here, educate yourself;

          https://thinkgrowth.org/14-black-inventors-you-probably-didnt-know-about-3c0702cc63d2

          http://blackbeat.topix.com/slideshow/16908

          Reply
          • Cyril Figgis

             /  July 21, 2017

            No, history is what is. I’m not the one lording it over people who have points to make regarding gender equality or gender stereotyping. You can disagree with the Lucy Zee’s views, sure, but say that her point is essentially moot because white men invented television is pretty fatuous.

            Reply
            • sorethumb

               /  July 21, 2017

            • Corky

               /  July 21, 2017

              Correlation does not imply causation…give the guy a gong.

            • PDB

               /  July 21, 2017

              Your whole argument Cyril denigrates all the famous black inventors in history by suggesting they were essentially not given a chance to invent the TV though somehow they had time to invent other, more important stuff.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              @ sorethumb, if ya constantly bash it too much, that’ll be why its sore.

              But that video clip is spot on. He doesn’t over-bash it.
              I bet he’s a voter, too. 👍🏼

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 21, 2017

          How was no other portion of society given a chance? Madame Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace along with the 18 female Nobel Prize winners in science and medicine suggest otherwise.

          Reply
          • Cyril Figgis

             /  July 21, 2017

            18 Nobel prize winners from 50% of the population? I don’t know what the total number of Nobel Prize winner is, but that is nowhere near parity.

            Reply
            • Cyril Figgis

               /  July 21, 2017

              Wikipedia tells me that there have been 579 Nobel prizes awarded to 911 laureates. So 18 doesn’t seem like a good number to me.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              I didn’t say it was. Do you think that female choice played no role in that division? When I was studying science (and computing) there were very few women in the classes but there were no obvious barriers to them being there. Most simply chose to do other things.

              That being the case, women should appreciate what men did for the world just as men should appreciate what women have done. Lucy is just being obnoxious. If I emigrated to China I would neither be surprised nor offended if I found most people on TV were not Caucasian.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              18 in science and medicine only just to get the stats straight.

            • Cyril Figgis

               /  July 21, 2017

              I’m not sure of the total number of science and medicine awards, but yes, lower than the 576 figure I used.

              I think women’s choice probably did play a large part, but it was a choice influenced heavily by aspects of society at the time, especially around the roles women were expected to have in the family and in the workplace. Now that those expectations have somewhat changed there are more women in science classes. My experience has been of classes that are closer to 50% women.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Your last sentence. Glad to hear it. That’s progress, in the West. And that’s what really counts. We make progress like that.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              There were plenty of women in the entry level classes, very few in the advanced classes. Always been more in the biological and medical sciences than the physical sciences, engineering and computer science. There don’t seem to be any more coming through in IT than there were in my day from what I’ve seen.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  July 21, 2017

              Slight diversion but semi related Al. I know you to enjoy a game of chess. My own observation is that women just are not wired to be good chess players. Lack of aggression? Logic? Visualisation? Whatever it is they are shit at it

            • Most men probably aren’t that flash at chess either.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              @C, there are sex differences in visual/spatial skills which may explain some of it. There are a few female high achievers in chess though. Not many in NZ in my experience.

            • PDB

               /  July 21, 2017

              Theory from scientific America: “Men have a visuo-spatial advantage and an edge when it comes to in depth linear calculations, men are more focused.

              Women are good at holistic approaches and thus can do quite well in blitz games where quick pattern recognition is emphasised more than calculation.

              But more significantly the IQ distributions between the sexes is different.
              Women are more grouped around the average whereas men are more spread across the spectrum, thus you get more stupid men than women but also many more highly intelligent men than women. This makes evolutionary sense as the bigger the differences between males, the easier it is for women to select the top mates, also the best selected from a spread-out group will be much more intelligent than the best selected from an average group, hence humanity’s intellectual evolution advances more quickly in theory all things being equal.

              This is why the top scientists, mathematicians, visual effects artists etc tend to be men.

              On average men and women are roughly the same, it’s the IQ distribution that makes the difference.”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              @PDB, yes, that hypothesis has been around for a while and seems to make some sense of it all. Also males are more risk takers than females, prefer to drive faster, talk less and hate shopping.

            • Gezza

               /  July 21, 2017

              Hang on Al, mate! They might not all talk less !

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              Exceptions for Irish, G.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 21, 2017

              Mind you if you can out talk my Mrs I’ll be very surprised. The only one who can is her daughter and they complain bitterly about how much each other talks. I’m the peace-maker. I grunt.

        • Corky

           /  July 21, 2017

          What about white scientists condemned to anonymity because their ideas weren’t mainstream? The fact is science is not the generally the domain of black folk.

          And even if true, she still owes a debt of gratitude, as do we all, to the Cracker who invented television.

          So basically a strawman argument.

          Reply
  4. Corky

     /  July 21, 2017

    They interviewed a advertising executive once. They asked him why Maori,previously had never appeared in advertisements. His reply was it didn’t cross their minds to have Maoris in advertisements, neither did it cross Maoris minds to audition for advertisements.

    Watching the way Maori are currently portrayed in advertisements i would vote for the apartheid era of advertisements. Blacks have a similar problem with black sitcoms and advertisements

    Chris Rock sums my feelings up very well in the following clip. There’s plenty of racial digs and slights . Warning- racial slurs, but they are in context. ie advertising Bs.

    Reply
  5. CHRIS

     /  July 21, 2017

    That ad for spray and walk away isn’t a white male and boy is it irritating

    Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 21, 2017

    Poor lady. What a terrible problem to have. I just don’t know how she copes.

    Reply
  7. sorethumb

     /  July 21, 2017

    China lays claim not just to booksellers in Hong Kong but, to a degree, an entire diaspora.
    ……….
    China today is extraordinarily homogenous. It sustains that by remaining almost entirely closed to new entrants except by birth. Unless someone is the child of a Chinese national, no matter how long they live there, how much money they make or tax they pay, it is virtually impossible to become a citizen. Someone who marries a Chinese person can theoretically gain citizenship; in practice few do. As a result, the most populous nation on Earth has only 1,448 naturalised Chinese in total, according to the 2010 census. Even Japan, better known for hostility to immigration, naturalises around 10,000 new citizens each year; in America the figure is some 700,000 (see chart).
    https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21710264-worlds-rising-superpower-has-particular-vision-ethnicity-and-nationhood-has

    Reply
  8. sorethumb

     /  July 21, 2017

    Try to have a discussion on the distinction between ethnocentrism and racism. It comes down to an argument about the role of evolution versus social construction.
    The Spinoffs have been Spunoff from our humanities department where they have been informed by Professor Gramsci.

    “Behavioural biology is making headway in psychology while the sociological disciplines—sociology, anthropology and political science together with specialist areas such as gender studies—have maintained the rage against any science that dispels utopian dreams. The result has been the unfolding, largely unwitting, of the Gramscian vision of training a new intellectual elite, year after year, generation after generation. That is how the social sciences long ago became a vital area of strength for leftist hegemony in Western intellectual culture and a breeding ground for radical movements.”
    http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2012/6/the-war-against-human-nature-in-the-social-sciences/

    Reply
  9. sorethumb

     /  July 21, 2017

    The future of Auckland is the focus of a panel discussion chaired by Bill Ralston at the Auckland Museum. It features Marina Matthews from the law firm Chen Palmer; and Waikare Komene, a young architect from Otara, along with Professor Damon Salesa from the University of Auckland, and business commentator Rod Oram, well-known to RNZ listeners.

    Bill Ralston: I mean Marina picking up on the Herald thing and based on your massive study. Going back (I think it was 2001) 67%of our island city was pakeha. Now it is down to 54% and falling rapidly It wont be long before Pakeha Aucklanders are a minority. Is that necessarliy a good thing or could it be a bad thing?

    Marina Mathews: I think it could be a good thing. I’ll just draw on my experiences working 10 years in the public sector in Wellington. I mean when you look at Wellington it has it’s own ethnoburbs as well. Um the population and ethnicity of folk in Eastbourne (across the water) is a bit different to that of Cannons Creek by Porirua . So it is slightly systematic. It ‘s starting to grow across NZ. Asia NZ did a survey (a 2015 report)on the population of house buyers in Auckland. It was just a little more scientific than Phil Twyford may have ventured about people who had surnames that might have sounded like some foreign word who were house owners. What they did say is that 25% of the population of Pine Hill in NZ are Chinese. Um 10% of the population of house owners in Glenn Innes are Indian and so what is happening as a result is that businesses are having to alter what they are doing, how they are delivering and how they are coping. The number one seller at Pac nSave in Albany is white rice (not white potatoes). Another big seller is chicken feet. And so you are seeng the market (I love the French market in Parrnell) It’s a lot different to if I went down to Otara on a saturday.

    Ralston: It’s a lot different to if you went down Sandringham Road where there’s a whole pile of medium spice shopsand Restuarants, um and down the back of Dominion Road there is the biggest Chinese Supermarket I’ve ever seen (bout 2 or 3 football fields in size) and you can buy whatever you want. That’s the gift, I suppose, that diversity brings.

    Rod Oram: Absolutely! That makes Auckland a fabulously interesting city. And obviously the key thing we need to care a lot about about are that people are moving around and are appreciating and taking more interest year round rather ratjher than just turning up at Albert Park for a lantern show or Diwhali festival. And of course there are people who just hunker down in their neighbourhood or their community. But I’d like to think there are people particularily amongst the younger generation who are strong in their own identity but are keen to appreciate other identities too.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/smarttalk/audio/201778519/smart-talk-at-the-auckland-museum-auckland-as-an-island

    Remember these are the smart people.
    Why does Marama Mathews think this is a good thing? Ans: businesses being challenged. Rice replacing locally grown potatoes.

    Reply
  10. David

     /  July 21, 2017

    A bit of a shock that a country largely populated by white people has largely white people on TV. Doubly so given it’s actually an advert for Lightbox…..

    “My entire life I had been raised by white men telling me what to buy, what to eat and how to eat it. ”

    I imagine her parents were glad to be rid of her.

    Reply
  11. sorethumb

     /  July 21, 2017

    Reply
  12. Conspiratoor

     /  July 21, 2017

    I don’t subscribe to the doctrine that white men are inherently more advanced intellectually than any other skin colour. The reasons why western society advanced at a faster rate than others are complex and debatable. I like the hypothesis that much of it has been due to the English language and the sheer variety of ways it offers … to express a feeling or to describe an object or a concept. No other language comes close in the sheer number of word options, and hence why it has become the lingua franca of the scientific community
    The chinese use tone and sing the word to denote meaning which is a f*cked up way of working at technology’s leading edge. And the Germans …well they just grunt. Ironic since English has its origin in german

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 21, 2017

      Ironic since English has its origin in german

      Bloody hell! You too? Your latin teacher wasn’t called Cabbage, was he, c?

      I agree with your point about the richness of the English language making it so universally utilitarian. I love English.

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  July 21, 2017

        Cheers G, I’m hot on this one. The more I see of other languages the more I appreciate my own. It ain’t pretty in the same way as francais or espanol …but you can tell her you love her in 27 different ways

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  July 21, 2017

          Imagine Kitty at Canaveral c.

          Flight: Commencing countdown, all systems reporting go.
          Kitty: I’m sorry, that is very poor grammar indeed. This countdown simply cannot proceed until you adopt the correct usage of the verb ‘to go’, or some other verb more appropriate to the purpose for which you are currently mis-using the verb ‘to go’!

          Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  July 21, 2017

          The stuff dreams are made of G …with just enough fuel for a OWF

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 21, 2017

            Garn! I luv her like a sister! Teaches me all sortsa stuff I didn’t want to know! Gives me heapsa grins, does Kitty. ❤️🌹😍

            Reply
    • Corky

       /  July 21, 2017

      Bingo, Con. It allows for the Socrates method of learning. It allows us to follow ideas within idea within idea. If it doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t exist, is an old metaphysical saying.
      The English language has brought many things into existence.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  July 21, 2017

        I am a carbon copy of you…except I’m good natured.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  July 21, 2017

          Course ya are. I think of ya like a wayward cuzzie Corks. 👍🏼 🍀

          Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  July 21, 2017

          I hear you brother, evility is the burden i have to bear. You’re also a lot smarter but I bet I’m prettier …with better chat up lines

          Reply
      • Corky

         /  July 21, 2017

        *ideas within ideas*

        Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  July 21, 2017

      God you talk sense if you put your mind to it brother corks. The rest of the time you’re taking the piss. Am I close?

      Reply
  13. Blah Blah Blah….. I am heartily tired of the “its all white males” fault bs… mind you Pete – generated a LOT of comments…

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 21, 2017

      I think it’s been a good thing dave. I’m sympathetic to the plight & rights of people of different races & genders who face genuine discrimination in societies. I’m a pakeha English-speaking white male. And I’m proud of that. I have no need to apologise to anybody for being one, or for being who I am.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  July 22, 2017

        Darn Right. ( no pun intended)

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 22, 2017

        I sometimes have to apologise for giving you an uptick, G. (But not often.)

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  July 22, 2017

          I’m a nice guy, Al. I’ve been told that often enuf to finally come to really believe it. I like people. I try to see the best in them. I try not to be quite as judgemental as I used to be, because I haven’t walked in their shoes. I don’t like to see anyone being mistreated or picked on for no good reason. I’ll offer to help people out if I can, & hope that if the time ever comes, they’d repay the favour.

          But if they don’t, that’s ok. It’s not an absolute expectation – I just might not be so quick to do something for them again, because core parts of my internal value system – embedded by my parents – are that a man is as good as his word, that one good turn deserves another, that anyone who doesn’t think that is not up to your standard, & that a man with a wussy handshake should be told how it should be done & given another chance to get it right. If they can’t, they should thereafter be avoided at all costs.

          But I’ve been taken for a ride by users often enuf, and I’ve got into strife & misery other times helping people who, for whatever reason, won’t also do their bit to help themselves – & I’ve been accused by some who love me of being too soft for my own good sometimes – and that’s been proven right, to my annoyance on a couple of occasions.

          So … I just carry on trying to be a nice guy, and a good person, to be happy as often as possible, and to wish that for others, but to apply a bit of judgement from time to time from the hard-won wisdom of my years when someone else says they want something from me to make them happy.

          I accept I have some flaws that need working on. I always will have. Nobody’s perfect. Even God fucked up with storms, earthquakes, tornados, murdering religious nutters etc. The flaws I work on are those I know need work – not those somebody else says I have – unless they’re right.

          And I reckon there are thousands of us pakeha white males who’re nice guys, who with a bit of difference here and there are more or less just the same. We’re good people. That’s why women marry us.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 22, 2017

            That was very introspective, G, for a rather light-hearted conversation. But you are not telling me anything I hadn’t already basically surmised from our sparring, opining and jesting – and I expect most of the other regulars here would feel the same. More than that, I relate to pretty much all of that myself. Yes indeed.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  July 22, 2017

              And that was really my point, Alan. Anybody carping on about the problem with white middle aged males is a bigot who obviously doesn’t have a clue about most middle aged white males.

  14. David

     /  July 22, 2017

    I wonder if she will be writing a film review on Dunkirk like this one, she will relate to one of the add comments;

    “The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2017/07/17/review-christopher-nolan-excellent-dunkirk-explores-heroism-innovative-fashion/482574001/

    Imagine Dunkirk without any white men eh?

    Reply
  1. “Imagine a world without white men” — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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