Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV B Gone

Becky Stern posted an entry about her TV B Gone zip hoodie in craft magazine's blog. Much finger wagging followed. The idea of having an inconspicuous gesture like zipping your hoodie control something else is interesting, and something that might inspire me later. However, I do agree with a lot of the stuffy lectures in the comments.

I wish the project had been presented as a device for a pretty innocent lark, instead of presenting it as a magic morality wand. It's fun and it's clever, but it's still not a very mature thing to do, and probably won't accomplish what it was created for in the first place. Take the offered restaurant scenario. The television is turned off, confuses the owner/host/hostess/whatever, and they turn the television back on. This goes back and forth until someone grows bored and frustrated. If it's the restaurant owner, they may be concerned about their malfunctioning TV and spend lots of money either getting a new one, or trying to get it repaired when it's not necessary. The original purpose of the hoodie isn't realized and all that effort and ingenuity is wasted.

Besides, a plastic box with wires that displays images and makes noise isn't inherently evil or obnoxious. So the problem must be the content. Maybe you hate how media giants control information, or think sports represent oppression by the male population, or whatever. Hoping owners will understand your ambiguous and anonymous actions isn't the best way to get what you want.

Can you imagine a flock of politically aware twenty-somethings, angrily zipping their hoodies up and down outside a convention hall, in protest? Zip-wankers.

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