Thursday, March 10, 2011

Silly Little Rhymes?

This was taken in and around 1988. I had a three year old and a newborn. Of course, now I look at it and think I look "young" but when I looked at this picture, say in the 90's, I thought I looked tired. I was both young and tired in this picture.

Anyway, I'm listing to the Ultimate Anti-Career guide audio lectures by Rick Jarow purchased off Sounds True. Although he says the same old same old (for there is only one wisdom) he puts it clearly and succinctly.
He gives you clear strategies for clearing you mind of all the chatter and red herrings and threshold guardian fear mongering so that you can focus on your priorities and your heart's desire.

In the third or fourth lecture he said something quite interesting and a bit different: he claimed that the subconscious likes simple rhymes to serve as instruction.

That's funny, because when I'm feeling 'lost' I often go back to the childhood rhymes I liked for comfort. Walter de la Mare etc. I've just been reading some poems from Open Windows, the textbook for fifth graders used in the 60's. Do you feel the force of the wind..etc... I don't go back to my favorite adult poets, Yeats, T.S. Eliot or W.H. Auden. Well, sometimes e.e.cummings.

The stories in these textbooks are stultifying politically correct and boring, only the poems have life. So, I remember only the poems.

Anyway, Jarrow says that the advertising wizards know that simple rhymes are the path into the subconscious, that's why they invented Jingles. the Jingles that have become part of who we all are really, if we are baby boomers from the West.

And I thought, Yea. So true. Ads have defined who we are as individuals. We've embraced them, too. They make us feel all gooey about our childhood. And yet, their only goal was to sell us stuff, mostly crap we didn't really need.

I've worked in advertising. And with this Flo in the City blog I've been deconstructing advertising techniques through the century, because the 1910 era was really the beginning of 'the new advertising.'

It is when they stopped filling advertisements with written information and started creating lifestyle ads, ads that promised an emotional, sometimes spiritual payoff with the purchase.

This technique started with J. Walter Thompsom I believe, who advertised extensively in the Ladies Home Journal.

Well, Margaret and Edith and Flo read the Ladies Home Journal. I wonder if they believed that Ivory Soap would make their lives more serene.

It was only later, with the advent of radios, that these women had jingles put into their head. And Edith and Flo were alive in the 60's and 70's, so they witnessed what the next generations grew up with, Ho HO Ho Green Giant and You'll wonder where the yellow went, and a little dab will do you, etc. etc... (My Looking for Mrs. Peel play, speaks to this in the opening scenes that take place in 1967.. I use the Wonderbra advert among others:free and alive, whereever you go ... And I have myself quoting an ad tag line :Yardley opens your eyes. Yardley had the most cagey advertising in the 60's, pretending to give YOUNG women OLD women wisdom, through ritual decoration. One tag line for some product says: Only the Young can get away with it.

When Margaret, Edith and Flora were young, the Bible and hymns were the only mantras plunked into their brains... and ministers' sermons I'm sure used the technique of repetition. Otherwise they lived in peace. No noise pollution. They were bored, that's why they went to church so much.

From what I've read about Presybterian sermons of the era, they could be pretty hard-core and pretty, might I say, intolerant of 'the other.'

And pretty anti-woman too, unless you believe there was only three kinds of women, virgins, whores and good and bad mothers.

But, anyway, it's certainly something to think about in this age of 24/7 multi-media and crackberrys and facebook addictions.

What's in our heads? And does it need to be there? Who is controlling our thoughts.