Thursday, March 14, 2013

1943 Graphic Acceptance

Sometimes it takes a little perspective to see how far we've come. Take advertising for example. And take it as an example of how much more hyperbolic we've become with just about everything. Even shortening the word "hyperbolic" to "hype" to give it more punch.
Everything these days seems to be uttered in the most apocalyptic terms. The economy is dying! The deficit is killing us! The stock market is "crashing"... when it drops 2 percentage points.
Please. Can we all just relax a little?
I’ve gotten so conditioned, when I hear certain words I automatically take the worst meaning. Like the term "graphic novel." When I first heard it, I immediately assumed it was filled with graphic images. Like blood and gore and nudity and such.
Because when you hear of graphic depictions in the world of news and entertainment that's what you think. "The pictures of the execution were very graphic." "The graphic video of the car crash had blood strewn everywhere." That sort of thing.
But no, a graphic novel is a comic book. Graphic, in this sense, just the tame meaning of a drawing. So is it my fault or should they have just called it an illustrated novel?
Back to the advertising as perspective idea. I have this calendar. Each month features pictures of old ads from the original Olympia Brewing Company. Some of them are quite quaint. And they're all a bit understated compared to today's ads. The one this month says it all. A bartender is standing with a slight smile on his face and a fresh full glass of Olympia Beer in his hand. The slogan says, "Olympia Beer, Always So Acceptable."
Not, “fantastic.” Not, “Amazing!” Not, “INCREDIBLE!”
Life must have been less graphic then.
America, ya gotta love it.

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