VIOLENT CRIME ALERT: There is a group of people traveling at night deliberately running cyclists off the road in Ottawa, Ontario. They swerved at me shouting abuse on Friday night, and I ended up in the hospital. They were driving a silver Honda. They were spotted in Old Ottawa South last night as well victimizing a cyclist. PLEASE report ANY abuse you see to police immediately. The police did not get my information on Friday night because I was medicated and in shock. PLEASE, I need your help badly, spread the word and contact the Ottawa police IMMEDIATELY.
Not that it matters with this breed of psychotic behaviour, but I was wearing a helmet, sticking to the designated path (not even on the road, but on the designated lanes on Colonel By Drive), utilizing a legal light and reflectors, and paying full attention. I was deliberately victimized by these people, and there was no “reason” to target me, other than to make a perhaps send a message to other cyclists.
And for those of you sick enough to say “yelling at someone for no reason and swerving off the road to threaten them is NOT A CRIME”… well, I hope you get yours. If someone in another car started honking and screaming at you and swerving to force YOUR vehicle off the road, there would be a full investigation.
“Unbranding” is the term given to the purportedly Machiavellian method of gaining traction for one brand by actively harming another. This is what putting a free luxury handbag in the hand’s of the multi-millionaire, Jersey Shore star Snooki was supposed to achieve. The idea is that when consumers see a brand/good/commodity in the hands of a person who is, for whatever reason, publicly reviled, they will direct their dollars to competing options.
The hypothesis of “unbranding” turns on a misconception of how negative consumer choice – meaning actively choosing not to choose something despite its easy availability to the consumer – works. Marketers wrongly assume that it’s like getting people to buy something — by making them associate whom they are or want to be with a product — but only in reverse. In this instance, Magnotta posing with a Blue is thought to be tantamount to a backwards endorsement. “Deranged, homosexual, murderers drink blue – Drink something else instead,” is how Labbat thinks we’re reading the photo.
There are two reasons why this hypothesis doesn’t pan out. Firstly, it assumes that we don’t see incongruence between the product being consumed and the person consuming it.
When Snooki is photographed with a genuine luxury handbag, the shock isn’t in the bag losing its luxury distinction by the juxtaposition. Rather, it’s rooted in the unresolved antagonism between new and old wealth. While Snooki can surely afford luxury goods, it’s believed that she doesn’t have the social class credentials to consume them gracefully. In summation, the brand is left unscathed while the high profile consumer is derided.
Second, the hypothesis disregards that other, more powerful, factors go into consumer choices.
Because the confluence of forces acting on consumers, such as price, supply, need and emotional attachment (fond memories, our innate desire for community/acceptance, etcetera) are so formidable in swaying rational consumer choices, brands themselves need to deeply offend potential consumers in order to turn them away from a brand. These choices simply aren’t rational, in a purely economic sense. That said, most consumer boycotts are unsuccessful simply because people need to stubbornly ignore all of the aforementioned forces just to make a mostly symbolic gesture.
That said, Labbat certainly offended some consumers with its response to the Gazette’s publishing of image. I know that I was angered by it, and the response on Twitter seemed to share my sentiments.
Labbat tried to not only censor the media, but to sue them for something that they didn’t do. The Gazette didn’t put that beer in Magnotta’s hand, which is really what upset Labbat, they just printed a publicly accessible photo that people would have saw on their own if they were so inclined. Even then, it’s hard to make a solid case that this would have turned them away from Blue.
I’m not a fan of those who bully the news media into silence, especially those who leverage democratic institutions, namely the law, to do so. I don’t drink any Labbat products, but if I did I’d need to see twenty-eight bottle cases on sale for the price of a two-four until Labour Day, as a way of atoning for being SLAPP-suit boneheads. (That’s some free advice. You’re welcome, Labbat.)
Considering that most consumers “drink the label” and not the beer, so it makes sense that Labbat would react the way that it did. However, there’s a big distance between reacting and responding, one that requires landing on reflection before reaching the latter. To counter this image, Labbat could have doubled down on advertising, as a means of reinforcing their desired brand image. Or, they could have done absolutely nothing, laid over and allowed the sheer enormity of the story to roll past the image. Instead, the company inserted themselves into the momentum of the story and was carried along with it.
Despite having a severed foot sent to them by, an alleged, narcissistic sociopath turned sex murdered, the Conservatives were the biggest beneficiaries of the reportage of this grisly act. If there are anymore contentious laws that the government would like to pass, or ministers who would like to admit to malfeasance, early next will be the most opportune time to do so. Here’s a quick overview of big three stories that were effectively buried by this mostly salacious and speculative coverage.
Parliament passes a motion forcing striking CP workers back to work: Back-to-work legislation is quickly becoming the favoured implement in the Conservative attack on workers’ rights, the use of which has again been tarted up as a difficult move needed to buffer a weak economic recovery from turbulence. The government couldn’t have asked for a better story to displace what could have been a nasty row between the Left and the Right that might have prompted some wider debate. Should the government – especially one informed by an activist liberal tendency — be interfering in labour negotiations within the private sector? What other unsavory and possibility unconstitutional acts of government intervention should be undertaken in the name of shoring up the recovery/taking the country out of recession? These are things that won’t be discussed because those pages and that time would have been afforded this story were filled by the Luka Magnotta story.
Thomas Mulcair in Alberta: After going all in on a complex and risky play to assert himself as a learned and capable economic manager, and losing, Mulcair finally visited the tar sands development in Alberta. Even if Mulcair had had a James Cameron-esq apostasy and emerged from the West as a booster for so-called “ethical oil”, aka. “dirty oil,” these reports would have never held a candle to those about a homosexual porn star, kitten torturer, pretty boy. Now the government can continue to lash Mulcair over his divisive stance on the oil sands for months to come, because little coverage was devoted to the junket.
GM Halves Production At It’s Oshawa, Ontario Plant: Speaking of doing something for the good for the economy, remember a few years back when scads of public money was use to bailout this manufacturer of gas-guzzling, clunkers in the name of saving the domestic economy? Yeah, neither do I, but the handshake deal was that a government-unwritten GM wouldn’t cut any jobs. (Wages were another thing altogether.) Last week the CAW announced, well in advance of GM doing so, that one of the last two lines at it’s Oshawa plant would be gradually scaled to zero, ultimately leaving nearly two-thousand people without a job and rendering harm to the economy. Instead of feeling taken, Canadians were wondering what kind of sicko would rape, torture and dismember a human being and what kind of lesser sickos — if only slightly — would actively seek out the, still, publicly accessible video of this crime. While the federal government wasn’t the only level of government involved in the deal, this could have been a black-eye for federal finance minister Jim Flaherty because, in addition to being Mr.Economy, his riding (Whitby-Oshawa) is immediately West of the Oshawa plant and it goes without saying that many in his riding are in some way employed because of the GM plant. The public perception of a finance minister who can’t even look out for the well being of his riding’s economy can be damaging. That is, if people aren’t already transfixed by something more gruesome and upsetting.
“Billionaire socialists”… Really? I’m guessing that they made all of that wealth putting screen doors on submarines, eh.
That’s the dumbest epithet I’ve heard in a very long time. Also, using it to describe one of the most dogged and virulent anti-socialists in history is completely ridiculous. Way to discredit yourself, Joe Oliver. Sure, promote your agenda, just don’t be an idiot.
My honours thesis was 236 pages long, less the twenty-nine page bibliography. A typical honours thesis weights in at around forty pages, but I had to cover a lot of theoretical ground before presenting brave new theories. When I presented it to my supervisor she quipped that students are supposed to write their honours thesis before writing their masters thesis.
Is it just me, or does anyone else remember the Toronto band the Weekend? Is it just me, or did anyone else’s knowledge of this band leave them scratching their head when DJ hip-hop radio DJs were enthusiastically plugging the Weeknd on their shows?