Through a Prison Window

See the short public service announcement (PSA) about emotional abuse of children, embedded just below. It’s in Polish but the video is easy to follow without understanding the language.

The PSA presents two scenarios. In the first one, a mother pushes away and criticizes her toddler, with a flash-forward of him as a nervous young man self-sabotaging before a job interview. In the alternate scenario, she praises and attends to him, with the result being that he approaches the interview confidently. In the concluding scene the narrator says “one day your child will spread his wings;  it is up to you whether he will fail to launch (the Polish idiom is ‘be a flightless bird’) or fly like an eagle.”

Take a quick look:

The video is well done and the message is spot-on. But as is often the case when encountering something foreign, it’s the little details that make it an experience at odds with what you are accustomed to. For example, in this PSA:

  • There are no distracting actors of another race, which makes the vignette a coherent morality play involving characters with natural relationships among each other. This homogeneity is psychologically satisfying in its harmonious simplicity.
  • The people look right because they look natural. The mom is pretty but neither glamorous nor “empowered” looking. The prim, officious secretary is congruent with the archetype. There is no character engorgement that’s common to Western ads.
  • The male narrator. Did it surprise you to hear him speak? In that PSA, a man represents society’s voice of authority. In American ads, authority figures are women, when they’re not disconcertingly reptilian blacks such as the Nationwide Insurance spokesman.
  • Finally, the focus of this PSA is the well-being of a young White man. In the U.S., the establishment’s crocodile tears are shed for everybody except White men and boys.

Now that we’ve reveled in the normalcy of the Eastern European PSA, let’s take a look at an American one on a similar theme. You will recoil at the icy bark of an adult female ambushing a young boy:

The voice that retracted a thousand scrotums.

(UPDATE: reader Peterike provides additional background info on the LikeAGirl PSA in the comments.)

During the Communist decades, Eastern Europeans watched the free people of the West like through a prison window. Beautiful cities with bright cafes, people moving about freely, speaking freely, and they longed for that.

Today, we in pozzed West watch images of healthy social arrangements through our own metal bars, our thirsty eyes following a glass of cold, clean water, unaccustomed to a public affirmation that an institution of the state, and the talent that it harnesses, endeavors to secure a future for her native sons.

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10 thoughts on “Through a Prison Window

  1. The creative “genius” behind the American PSA is one Lauren Greenfield, who had this to say:

    Greenfield also sees being Jewish and a woman as pluses for her work. “There’s something about being an outsider – a minority who has a critical eye on society – that goes well with this kind of documentary photography,” she says. “I was also lucky to grow up at a time when different point of view were being celebrated and the female perspective was fresher, because prior generations were primarily male-dominated.”

    And NOBODY is surprised. People like Greenfield don’t HAVE to be Jews, it’s just that they nearly always are.

    This is my current “favorite” bit of pozziness that’s being “celebrated” as ground breaking and wonderful.

  2. Greenfield. Every fucking time.

    Pay attention to her quite unsettling barking of questions. Her PSA comes from a place of hate. The female speaker does not sound like someone who loves girls, but rather like someone who leaps at an opportunity to attack a society she despises by attacking its boys. The girls she ostensibly champions are just her props.

  3. There are no distracting actors of another race, which makes the vignette a coherent morality play involving characters with natural relationships among each other. This homogeneity is psychologically satisfying in its harmonious simplicity.

    In America, shows. advertisements and PSA’s are often cast with viewer demographics in mind, hence the tokenistic casting; America isn’t a 99% white country like Poland. But here there are lots of monocultural familes, so it does look forced to see the human rainbow coalition in every show, ad and public-service initiative.

    I agree there is p.c. and ‘prog’ bent and bias in play along the lines of how you and yours lament; I just mention the above to point out that there are rote commercial demographic concerns in play as well. I recall touching upon these points with peterike back at 28sherman that tangented off the subject of the show Downtown Abbey.

    As for the Polish PSA specifically; what struck me most about it was a shop production aspect; the sort-of unsteady camera movements and, of course, the overall spot’s length —– very unusual by television production standards.
    FWIW, I thought the woman was very pretty and attractive in a wholesome way; I agree with PA’s assessment of her depicting a pure and erotically ripe quality, but that is yet not jaded, over-empowered or manipulative.

  4. “In America, shows. advertisements and PSA’s are often cast with viewer demographics in mind, hence the tokenistic casting”

    I think this is true to an extent. TV creatives multi-cult it up for viewership. But I think it’s far more true believer cultural propaganda. It’s one thing to have a white couple and a black couple in an add. It’s quite another to have a mixed race couple. And you see mixed race couples all the time, both in ads and in TV and film productions. It’s difficult to even find a TV show that doesn’t have mixed race romances in it.

    Hi Nikcrit!

  5. I noticed in Asia the TV commercials would often show a bumbling though good-hearted husband who would be helped by his smart wife making a good product choice. The end message was family health and unity. In contrast to western ads, the husband is supported and strengthened by his loving wife instead of being humiliated by her obvious superiority.

    And that black insurance guy. In some commercials he suddenly appears in white people’s bedrooms to council the husband on his inferiority, or is found lurking at the end of their driveway when their daughter drives off. And their target demographic is whites?

    In many U.S. commercials you will see black/white “teaching moments” that last for less than a second. Could simply be a black or a white female walking in or out of the frame. The absolute worst was the Doritos commercial showing a feeble white nerd licking cheese off the finger of a confident, intelligent though horrified black man. Hot blonde white chick walks through the background frame.

  6. The latest bit of Prog mind-pollution is “Jessica Jones.” Originally a comic book featuring a white heroine who sleeps with and marries a black man and has a little mocha baby. Almost nobody reads comic books, but it has now been turned into a Netflix series which will be watched by millions.

    In the very first episode, the attractive white girl has graphic, nearly violent sex with the black man who will continue in the relationship with her (I read a review, I refuse to watch this filth).

    So let’s do a little trace the creators, shall we? Who created the comic book? One Brian Michael Bendis, about whom we find: “Brian Michael Bendis was born on August 18, 1967 in Cleveland, Ohio to a Jewish-American family. Despite rebelling against a religious upbringing, he attended a private, modern Orthodox religious school for boys.”

    Surprise, surprise. And who is the “creator” of the TV series? Melissa Rosenberg.

    The reviewer at the popular fan site Vulture said, “Jessica Jones Is a Stylish, Striking Neo-Noir Drama for Adults.” The reviewers name? Matt Zoller Seitz.

    I dunno, it’s almost like they’re working towards the same goals or something.

  7. No, peterike; you got it all wrong. Jones’ bad behavior is the result of her former relationship with an ABUSIVE WHITE MALE; that objective critical organ, NPR, breaks it down for us:

    Jones blames herself for not resisting Kilgrave and for the heinous acts she committed while under his control. Ritter plays Jones as a relentlessly cynical, supremely damaged woman so tangled in her own dysfunction she can’t see how smart and heroic she often is.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/11/20/456812993/jessica-jones-struggles-in-life-but-triumphs-on-screen

    That white man, Kilgrave, was so evil that he rendered it impossible for Jones’ character to as much as realize just how ‘smart and heroic’ she can be.

    Shame on him.
    Shame on ALL you evil alabaster chaps!

  8. attention peterike:

    Check out this link that reviews a jessica jones episode; interesting for the facts that the review suggests the sex scene between jones and the black bar owner is designed to be symbolically negative and traumatic, thus negating its alleged ‘prog’ intent; and that such a review, period, is borne out of nytimes.com, which is of course Cathedralist mediation source #1.

    It’s notable that they negatively deconstruct said sex scene at length:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/arts/television/jessica-jones-netflix-episode-1-review.html

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