poster offensive

Two Weeks Notice (USA, 2002)

Predictions: We had both seen this movie before, but neither of us remembered very much about it. “So…I think he hires her, and then I guess she gives her two weeks’ notice?” “Okay. But what does he hire her for?” “I’m not sure… Something about environmentalism?”

Plot: We were more or less correct! Sandra Bullock is a liberal activist lawyer who dresses poorly and seems to primarily work to preserve old buildings, while somehow also holding down a job at Legal Aid. Hugh Grant, as usual, is a wealthy, bumbling cad about town. Their paths cross when his corporation wants to knock down yet another community building to build a giant skyscraper or something. In the course of petitioning him to change the corporation’s mind, Sandra Bullock inadvertently finds herself being hired as his chief counsel.

Cue the passage of time, over which we see Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock grow close. Too close, in fact. Weirdly close. He becomes dependent on her to pick out his outfits, envelopes, mattress… You know, all those normal things that people use a lawyer for. He calls her at all hours of the night, because he “just felt like a chat” and is unable to grasp what does and does not constitute a legitimate emergency. The last straw for Sandra Bullock comes when she ditches her best friend’s wedding to rush to his side, only to discover he just wanted her opinion on a suit. Enraged, she gives her two weeks’ notice.

Hugh Grant, devastated at the possibility of losing his best friend/wife/lawyer/assistant, obviously does not want Sandra Bullock to go. Some shenanigans ensue, but ultimately they agree that she can train a replacement and leave. Unfortunately, Hugh Grant’s penchant for hiring only beautiful women results in the arrival of Alicia Witt, a leggy, redheaded Harvard graduate who just happens to deeply admire them both. Perfect, right???? Not so much, for Sandra Bullock. She is not psyched, you guys. Not psyched at all.

For a moment, it almost seems like sad!Hugh Grant and jealous!Sandra Bullock might confess their feelings. However, then Sandra Bullock finds out that her beloved Coney Island community center, the main reason she originally took the job with Hugh Grant, is back on the chopping block since she quit. Infuriated, she goes to lambast him about it, only to discover him playing strip chess with Alicia Witt. Classy, guys. Very intellectual.

Sandra Bullock leaves Hugh Grant forever and goes back to work at Legal Aid. So, naturally, Hugh Grant shows up at Legal Aid to win her back. He gives a characteristically charming and heartfelt speech, including the news that a) the community center is being saved after all and b) he didn’t sleep with Alicia Witt. She initially rejects him, but then they make out.

The movie is surprisingly feelingsful. We had a lot of feelings.

Best Scene: Any scene where Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant are a) sharing food, b) dressing each other, or c) bickering affectionately. In general, any situation in which two people act like they are married when they are actually just a) “friends” or b) “professional” “colleagues” is a joy.

Worst Scene: The appearance of Donald Trump. Back in 2002, when this movie was released, he was just your usual corporate-icon buffoon. But now. But now. :|

Best Line: Hard to choose! At least half of our favorites belong to Hugh Grant, but several other characters also have great lines. So, instead, we’ve chosen to highlight another scene we loved: the mid-credits scene in which Sandra Bullock, in a button to a running gag, is finally ordering food for two(!!!!), while, in the background, Hugh Grant marvels at the size of her parents’ home as if it were a micro-apartment or a cupboard under the stairs.

Worst Line: Anything Alicia Witt said while trying to sleep with Hugh Grant. Come on, lady. We get it. Everyone wants to sleep with Hugh Grant. But you are a Harvard-educated lawyer, and he is your boss. Have the decency to wait until after you’ve quit, like Sandra Bullock. :|

Highlights of the Watching Experience: Enjoying the watching experience!!!! While, as noted, we had both seen this movie before, neither of us remembered how much we had liked it, nor were we at all confident that it would still be good (read: inoffensive) nearly 15 years later. But it held up, you guys! The first movie on this blog that we’ve really enjoyed that we didn’t already know like every word to!!!! Also, see next category.

How Many POC in the Film: Well, at first we were nervous, because the first two POC we saw were both in service positions. Granted, Hugh Grant’s black driver is also his best non-Sandra-Bullock friend, but it was still a little bit concerning. But then we lost count! There were so many! Including an Asian lawyer, which was shocking back in 2002.

Alternate Scenes: This movie was very nearly flawless, except for Sandra Bullock’s wardrobe. They could have reshot this entire movie with Sandra Bullock in normal clothes, and it would have been a vast improvement.

Was the Poster Better or Worse than the Film: Worse. The poster is fine, but offensively ungrammatical, while the movie itself is great.

Score: 8.5 out of 10 HR-department-nightmare smooches.

Ranking: 2, out of the 28 movies we’ve seen so far. AMAZING, YOU GUYS!!!! We’ve watched two good movies in two weeks!!!!!!!! Thanks, Summer Catch, for coming so slowly from Netflix and forcing us to watch the DVDs we own.

Black Milk's Social Media: Expectation vs. Reality Part I

[Note: I have edited this to give it a title, and to shift the postiion of both original images so that they are not sitting at the bottom of the page.

My original intention was to update this blog post with screenshots of Black Milk’s responses, and detail why I found them problematic. However, I have decided that my time would be better used responding to Cam’s apology piece by piece. It will constitute as my second blog post on this subject as well as be the content of my email to Cam.

The below was originally posted on my personal Facebook page.]

Black Milk Clothing, here’s the thing:

WHO: Lo. One of your employees, authorized to post to your official Facebook page.

WHAT: Expectation vs. Reality meme, using the attached photo. Best case scenario, a meme misunderstood by the poster and incorrectly used. Worst case scenario, a meme completely understood by the poster and offensively used.

WHEN: Weekend of May the 4th, affectionately referred to by geeks and nerds the world over as Star Wars Day.

WHERE: Your official Facebook page.

WHY: We can assume the goal of Lo was to create engaging and topical content for your Facebook page.

The Expectation v. Reality meme translates directly to Ideal Goal v. Non-ideal Result. I have attached an example of this, and you can see from a basic Google search that this is the clearly-established usage of this meme. In its most basic form, it boils down to the tried-and-true Win v. Fail.

Give the definition of this meme, one can easily understand how individuals viewing this post on your Facebook page would interpret Lo’s post as calling the model shot on the left the Win, while referring to the Amy character from Big Bang Theory the Fail. In fact, if your social media gurus are well-acquainted with memes (and they should be, given their job description, and even more so if they are going to utilize them), then they will have already known that this is the only logical conclusion to be drawn from this image.

This is problematic because Black Milk is a company that has stated many times that its goal is to empower women, to give them confidence. The image can be assumed to be based on nothing more than looks, given that the Amy character has a personality that can be learned from watching the show whereas the woman on the left is a mystery to most, if not all of us. She even appears to be a mystery to the Black Milk employees on the Facebook page, as I have not yet seen any of them call her by her name, even while they do know and use the name Amy for the image on the right.

The caption with the meme, “When I attempt to be a “geeky goddess”…” further drives home the Win (left) v. Fail (right) interpretation of the image as the only logical one available

Most, if not all, of the above issue can easily be forgiven if Lo did not fully understand this meme when she created and posted it. Brands misusing memes is a fairly common thing in our age of digital and viral marketing techniques.

However, Black Milk is an online-only company that interacts with its customers almost exclusively through online communication. It is safe to assume that Black Milk employees, especially those working on the social media, are frequent and savvy internet-users who understand the usage of popular memes.

In fact the only thing in this scenario that suggests Black Milk may not fully understand the meme was the decision to make one image Star Wars and the other Star Trek. As you an see from my attached sample meme of the cake, that’s not generally how it’s done.

Even if the meme was used out of ignorance, the second portion of these events makes plain another issues that cannot be excused by ignorance - that is an issue of censorship. Yes, Black Milk does have the right to censor its Facebook page as it sees fit. However, that does not mean it is wise to delete comments and ban those who wrote them, simply for raising an objection to a post. Now, if any of these comments were truly abusive to the original poster or the company, by all means delete those remarks. However, censoring comments that are only letting you know that they find the content of the post objectionable is unwise. Your goal as a company is to retain customers, and to grow your customer base. While this does not mean bowing to every customer demand and request, it does mean that it would be wise of you to listen to your loyal fans when they are letting you know that something you have done is hurting that community that you have worked so hard to build.

The decision to delete and ban suggests only that you have something to hide. It also only serves to further anger those who were already upset, and to incite anger in members of the community that were not angry about the original transgression.

The facts of this post are simple: You violated your own community guidelines by posting this image and caption. Whether or not the original intent was negative, the follow-up delete and ban tactics have upset your customers and fans further.

Your course of action is this: 1. Stop censorship of the post, except in the case of true abuse. 2. Delete the post. 3. Acknowledge the original intent of the post if you wish, but much more importantly, accept responsibility for what you have done and apologize for the pain it caused.

A personal note from myself - I have been buying, wearing, and promoting Black Milk since 2010. Despite being a slender woman of 115lbs, I felt terrible and fat the first time I tried on the Bad Kitty Catsuit I had so excitedly purchased. It was a group of fellow Black Milk fans who brought my confidence back up and made me happy to wear it. That is what Black Milk is supposed to be.  

[I will edit this and re-post it another time when I am not completely exhausted and in a rush. This original post will be kept up, for reference.]

Fuck Spoil The Dead!

I have no fucks left to give, so I’m telling ALL. The fourm Spoil the Dead is targeting Richonne Shippers for NO reason. We have been getting banned just for being known Richonne shippers. I’ve made this new account to talk about it since they are stalking Richonners accounts and banning us for talking about it on other sites. Many people are wondering what is going on and why the fourm is so dead lately. Well, many shippers are IP banned so it looks like we are still allowed on the site, but we aren’t. If the site doesn’t want Richonne shippers there, then they should just say it, don’t be little bitches and IP ban us so it looks like we are still allowed on the site when we aren’t. The owner of the site has no problem letting racist posters call Danai/Michonne names though. I’ve seen certain posters call her Niggchonne, Monkeychonne, and Manchonne before and they still aren’t banned. The Mods just delete the posts and don’t say anything, but when us Michonne fans call them out we are told to shut up! People who still post on the site know what I’m talking about, becuase a well known racist poster made her offensive comments a couple days ago and nothing has been done about it even though dozens of people report the posts. The Mods on the site bait fans and try and start ships wars, and when Richonne shippers don’t take the bait they bitch about us. We have literally been called “ugly black women who only like richonne becuase we can’t get white dick” and we’ve been called “Delusional bitches who need to relaize that Andrew Lincoln would never want someone who looks like Danai” Everything I’m saying can be backed up if anyone just looks through the previous comments on the site. I’m not sure why Richonne shippers are being targeted of all the ships, but this is so unprofessional and wrong. Instead of treating everyone fairly, the mods watch everything us Richonne shippers do and we are constantly mocked and judged. Plus, Spoil the Dead steals their spoilers from The Spoiling Dead Fans, and they ban people for trying to give credit to the right site. Fuck STD, it is a terrible website.